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Lebanon\^liey College 



Of High Grade: 

A Sesquicentennial History 
of Lebanon Valley College 




Of High Grade: 

A Sesqukentennial History 
of Lebanon Valley College 


by the Rev. Dr. J. Dennis Williams H'90 



cc 


W l- 

; 


hereas, Rudolph Herr, John H. Kinports, 

George A. Mark, Jr., L. W. Craumer, George 
W. Hoverter, and others... bought the Annville 
Academy... and presented the same to the East Pennsylvania 
Gonference of the Ghurch of the United Brethren in Ghrist, 
on condition that they would establish, and maintain forever, 
an institution of learning, of high grade, which is in accordance 
with the design of said conference... 


The Charter of Lebanon Valley College, 
granted by the Commonwealth 
of Pennsylvania, 1867 


Contents 


List of College Presidents 
Preface 

PARTI 

Of High Grade: The Lebanon Valley College Story 

1866-1890: The Founding of a College 

1 . A School of the United Brethren 1 

2. Without Much Promise 7 

3. Becoming a College 12 

1890-1932: A Recurring Bad Dream 

4. A Slough of Despond 19 

5. The Sweet Smell of Success 29 

6. Observant Propriety and Nefarious Pranks 35 

1932-1983: A Pockmarked Landscape 

7. A Challenging Terrain 43 

8. Striving for Excellence 57 

9. A Jumble of Contraries 63 

1983-2016: A Mature Institution 

10. Renaissance 75 

1 1 . Looking to Grow 87 

12. The Emerging Euture 103 


PART II 

Interpretive Essays 


13. From Dependent Child to Distant Cousin: 

A Story of the Relationship of a College and the Church 113 

/. Dennis Williams 

14. The Mute Stones Speak: 

A Brief Architectural History of Lebanon Valley College 125 

G. Daniel Massad 

15. This Ringing Song We Raise: 

Music at The Valley. 140 

Mark L. Mecham 

16. From Belles and Lassies to the NCAA Final Four: 

The Emergence of Womens Sports 153 

Thomas M. Hanrahan 

17. A Conversation with Stephen MacDonald: 168 

Looking Back at 14 Years as President and Dean 

Stephen C. MacDonald 

Acknowledgments 178 

Contributors 179 

Afterward 180 


Lebanon Valley College 
Presidents 


Thomas Rhys Vickroy 

1866-1871 

Lucian H. Hammond 

1871-1876 

David D. DeLong 

1876-1887 

Edmund S. Lorenz 

1887-1889 

Cyrus J. Kephart 

1889-1890 

E. Benjamin Bierman 

1890-1897 

Hervin U. Roop 

1897-1906 

Abram R Funkhouser 

1906-1907 

Lawrence W. Keister 

1907-1912 

George D. Gossard 

1912-1932 

Clyde A. Lynch 

1932-1950 

Frederic K. Miller 

1951-1967 

Frederick P. Sample 

1968-1983 

Arthur L. Peterson 

1984-1987 

John A. Synodinos 

1988-1996 

G. David Rollick 

1996-2004 

Stephen C. MacDonald 

2004-2012 

Lewis Evitts Thayne 

2012- 


Preface 

Life is a variegated cord that stretches from a time long gone to a present 
still unfolding. In one sense, the past is over and done. In another sense, the 
past is not done at all, for it invites us to sift through things done and things 
left undone for intimations as to who we are, what we value, and who, for 
better or worse, we are becoming. 

Of High Grade is the story of a College nestled in a small town in South 
Central Pennsylvania. It is an excursion back through time in which the 
reader will catch a glimpse of the rough-and-tumble, the ups-and-downs, 
and the key figures, as well as the elusive backstage players that are the story 
of the century and a half existence of Lebanon Valley College. Though it 
began with a less than promising future, this is a narrative of a College that 
has grown into a mature institution of excellence. It is an account of an 
institution growing up. 

For some, a reading of this book will feel like flipping through the pages of 
a photo album. As pages are turned, you may find yourself revisiting fond 
memories, learning of people you never knew, or peeking at events about 
which you knew only in part. As with all histories, the story is selective. 

It is a gathering of memories, but not of all the memories that can be 
found in the College’s storehouse of events and persons. The memories 
gathered in these pages come from the College’s archival collection and 
publications, newspaper articles, and personal interviews. Meeting minutes 
of committees and the College’s Board of Trustees, journals of church 
conferences, and reports and correspondence of College presidents and 
officers have been carefully perused. From such a review, it is apparent 
that when the doors of Lebanon Valley College were opened in 1866, 
an amazing enterprise of a hazardous nature was begun. Part I of this 
book provides a chronological history of the College. Part II consists of 
interpretive essays examining five areas of the College’s life. 

Though Of High Grade tells a story that stretches from a time long gone, 
it is a narrative pertinent to what is ahead, for it provides clues as to what 
Lebanon Valley College may yet aspire to be. It is also a chronicle of hope. 

It is a reminder that sometimes in the most unexpected places and in the 
most surprising moments there is a new creation. It is a reminder that 
survival, let alone survival with excellence, is a gift — a whisper of grace 
from the wings. 


/. Dennis Williams 



Parti 


Of High Grade: 

The Lebanon Valley College Story 


by J. Dennis Williams 



^j^cad^nuBuilding, Lebanon Valley (allege, 
IFSt Pa. • ' 


1866-1890 
The Founding 
of a College 



Chapter i 

A School of the United Brethren 


T he year was 1866. The sounds of the war between the Union and the 
Confederacy were now silent. It was a Monday morning, May 7, when 
the door of a three-story brick edifice on Annville’s Main Street was 
flung open to students. A new creation called Lebanon Valley College, whose 
outcome was uncertain, that would have a lot of growing up to do, was being 
launched as a school of the United Brethren in Christ. 

The United Brethren movement drew its first breath around 1767 in Isaac 
Long’s barn near Lancaster, Pa. It was here that William Otterbein heard Martin 
Boehm preach. Otterbein, a Reformed minister, had a commanding presence, 
the deportment of elegant culture, and university training in Germany. Boehm, 
a Mennonite minister, was clear and simple in speech, dressed in the plain 
Mennonite manner, with a limited education. They were ministers of churches 
that had a history of dislike for each other.* 

Though Otterbein and Boehm were widely separated by education, lifestyle, 
and church tradition, each had experienced a religious awakening that had 
kindled a zeal to share the Christian story with others. It was this bond, made 
evident in Boehm’s preaching at Long’s barn, that caused Otterbein at the close 
of Boehm’s sermon to rise, embrace Boehm, and with a loud voice declare Wir 
sind bruder, “We are brethren!” From this experience, the United Brethren 
movement commenced. 

The movement began not with the intention of creating a new church, but to 
revive the already established German churches. Otterbein and Boehm agreed 
to form groups in which those involved were to encourage each other, pray 
together, and watch over one another’s conduct. Gradually this movement 
became more organized. On Sept. 25, 1800, 13 preachers gathered in a private 
home near Frederick, Md. There, they united themselves into a society that 
would become known as the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. Otter- 
bein and Boehm were elected as superintendents. As German-speaking people 
moved westward, the United Brethren preachers followed. The church grew. By 
1866 the United Brethren in Christ had grown in membership to 91,570, with 
more than 35 geographic conferences that stretched across the nation. ** 


1 


P rior to 1866 there had been discussion among the United Brethren of 
establishing an institution of higher education in the East. In the 1860s, 
United Brethren schools were established in Ohio, Indiana, Oregon, 

Iowa, Kansas, and Illinois, but there were none in the East. There had been 
Mount Pleasant College in western Pennsylvania, but by 1858 it had disap- 
peared. Because the Pennsylvania Conference and the East Pennsylvania 
Conference had sent their youth to Mount Pleasant, its closing meant that 
those youth would now have to travel longer distances to attend the nearest 
United Brethren college. This motivated the East Pennsylvania Conference — on 
January 17, 1860 — to pass a resolution that spoke “of establishing an institution 
of learning in Pennsylvania as soon as possible.”‘“ 

It wasn’t until 1865 that the Pennsylvania and East Pennsylvania conferences 
actively pursued establishing an institution of learning. On February 24, 1865, 
the East Pennsylvania Conference responded favorably to the invitation of 
the Pennsylvania Conference, resolving to “cooperate with the Pennsylvania 
Conference in building up a Seminary of learning somewhere within the limits 
of the conferences.”" 

Each conference proceeded to elect five trustees to serve on the 10-member 
joint committee. Properties for sale and available locations were visited in York, 
Annville, Mount Joy, and Lebanon. Then the unexpected took place. Two mem- 
bers of the joint committee from the Pennsylvania Conference, one of whom 
was president of the joint committee, purchased Cottage Hill College in York. 
They did so with the intention that Cottage Hill would become a United Breth- 
ren college for women. The Pennsylvania Conference was prepared to send its 
daughters to this “female” institution. Suddenly, the East Pennsylvania Confer- 
ence stood alone in seeking to establish a co-educational college in the East. 

The defection of the Pennsylvania Conference settled the question about which 
side of the Susquehanna River the new college would be located. The choices of 
location narrowed to Annville and Lebanon. Fiscal considerations finally de- 
cided the matter. The United Brethren of Lebanon found that raising sufficient 
funds to purchase the desired Lebanon site was an insurmountable barrier. This 
left Annville, a small town that was comfortably cradled in the rich and fertile 
Lebanon Valley of Central Pennsylvania. Five United Brethren from Annville 
were willing to purchase the Annville Academy property for $4,500 and donate 
it to the East Pennsylvania Conference. 

The Annville Academy had been established in 1834 by some enterprising citi- 
zens of Annville. In 1857, construction began on a much larger building for the 
school — a three-story brick structure on Main Street, which would allow for 
boarding students and provide larger classrooms. The school offered primary 
classes on subjects such as reading, spelling, composition, arithmetic, grammar. 


2 






(1. to r.): Lewis Craumer, George 
Mark, George Hoverter, John 
Kinports, and Rudolph Herr 


and penmanship. There was a classical department that offered courses in Latin 
grammar and Greek grammar, as well as the study of classics such as Homer’s 
Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. There were courses in the natural sciences and a nor- 
mal department that prepared students to become teachers.'' The actual date of 
the school’s closing is uncertain. The academy building may have stood idle for 
a time.''* 

Not one of the five Annville men who purchased the academy and donated it 
to the conference had more than a grammar school education. Each of them 
had started work at an early age. Two of these men, Lewis Craumer and George 
Mark, were United Brethren preachers. Three of them, George Hoverter, John 
Kinports, and Rudolph Herr, were businessmen. Though they lacked college 
degrees, they respected education.''*' 

In response to the gift of the Annville Academy property, the East Pennsylvania 
Conference, meeting in Columbia, Pa., took the following action on February 
22, 1866: (1) to establish a classical school of the United Brethren Church, (2) 
to accept the gift to the conference of the Annville Academy, on condition that 
“the Conference forever maintain an institution of learning of high grade,” (3) 
to establish a “Board of 12 Trustees,” (4) to not incur upon the conference a 
greater expense than one thousand dollars tiU the next session of conference, 
and (5) to lease the operation of the college to a “responsible party,” who would 
conduct the affairs of the school and assume all of the risks as well as potential 
profits from the collection of fees.'"" 


3 




H e was an unlikely candidate to become the first president of this school 
of learning that had been authorized by the East Pennsylvania Confer- 
ence. He was not even a United Brethren. Yet, Thomas Rhys Vickroy 
became the school’s first president. How did this happen? 

In the month after the East Pennsylvania Conference had agreed to sponsor a 
classical school, a newly created Board of Trustees was convened. Three signifi- 
cant decisions were made. First, the school would have 
the name Lebanon Valley College. Second, it would 
open on May 7, 1866. And third, it would be leased for 
five years, removing any financial risk from the confer- 
ence. But to whom would the lease be given? May 7 
was only seven weeks away. 

Contacts with potential lessees were made.“ No one 
was found who was willing to shoulder the consider- 
able expense and responsibility that would come with 
leasing the school. It was “a trying hour.” 

G.W. Miles Rigor came to the rescue. Rigor, who had 
been a member of the joint committee that recom- 
mended establishing a “seminary of learning,” was 
elected by the East Pennsylvania Conference as one of 
the school’s 12 trustees and was deeply committed to 
the church establishing an institution of higher learn- 
ing in the East. In his handwritten history of the Col- 
lege, Rigor writes of seeing no other solution than his 
being “willing to risk his all, take the lease [himself], 
open the School at the appointed time, and conduct it 
in the manner prescribed.” The offer was “most gladly 
accepted.” 

Rigor’s next-door neighbor in Columbia, Pa., was Thomas Rhys Vickroy. 
Vickroy was a Methodist minister who also held a position in the First National 
Bank of Columbia. He had attended Dickinson College. In his junior year, he 
married and soon after left school to preach in the East Baltimore Conference 
of the Methodist Church. He continued his studies and completed “privately 
the Course of Study,” for which Dickinson College conferred on him an honor- 
ary A.B. and a graduate’s diploma.^ Rigor writes that, because he saw Vickroy 
as “a ripe scholar and an experienced teacher in conducting boarding schools,” 
he went to him seeking advice about conducting this new school. After much 
conversation and information gathering, Vickroy commented, “You should 
not quit preaching. Now teaching is my profession, [and] you had better let me 
have that lease and you remain in the ministry.” Rigor’s response was, “but you 





(above): Thomas Rhys 
Vickroy, President, 1866- 
1871; (below): G.W. Miles 
Rigor 



4 




are not a United Brethren, which is a necessary requirement for a lessee.” An 
understanding was then reached that Rigor would take on Vickroy as a partner. 
Rigor writes, “This was finally agreed upon by the Board....”” 

The terms of the partnership between Rigor and Vickroy are detailed in an 
agreement, dated March 23, 1866: 

...the said parties agree to associate themselves for the purpose of leas- 
ing the Lebanon Valley College until July fifteenth, A.D. one thousand 
eight hundred and seventy-one, and conducting the same as a classical 
school of high grade. 

It is further agreed between the said parties that each shall furnish 
one-half of the sum of money that may be necessary to carry on said 
school. 

And it is further agreed between the said parties that said 
Rigor shall use his best efforts to secure pupils and influence 
the public in favor of said school. 

And that said Vickroy shall also use his best efforts to secure 
students and take charge of the classical department of said 
school, teaching the ancient and modern languages, math- 
ematics, natural science, higher English, etc., and in connec- 
tion with his wife, to take charge of the boarding department, 
attend to the business. Keep the Books, and exercise a general 
government over the school; and, in consideration of the extra 
services on the part of himself and wife he is to receive one 
thousand dollars per annum with boarding and lodging for 
himself and family without charge. 

And it is further agreed between the said parties that they 
will employ whatever assistance in instructing, etc., that may 
be necessary, and that whatever net profits remain over one 
thousand dollars per annum mentioned above shall be equally 
divided between the said Rigor and Vickroy. 

The partnership would be one in which Miles Rigor would serve as the school’s 
“general agent,” soliciting funds and students, while Thomas Vickroy, as the 
school’s principal, would hire faculty, develop curriculum, set the rules, secure 
students, and manage the school’s operation. Such a partnership would de- 
mand of 35-year-old Rigor and the slightly younger Vickroy a firm resolve to 
establish a school “of high grade” and a trust in each other’s abilities. On May 7, 
1866, because of their resolve and abilities, Lebanon Valley College opened as a 
school of the United Brethren in Christ with 49 students. 


5 


Chapter i Endnotes 

‘“The Reformed, not a little puffed up with churchly pride.. .looked upon the Mennonites 
with iU-concealed disdain; and, indeed, regarded them as no church at all, but as a sect, 
a contemptible sect. The Mennonites, on their part, stiU cherished the recollection of the 
cruel wrongs and persecutions which their fathers had suffered from the Reformed church 
in Europe, and regarded that church, with its high sacramental notions, its paid and too- 
often-proud ministry, and its loose discipline, as little better than Romanism itself.” John 
Lawrence, The History of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Vol. I (Dayton, Ohio: 
Vonnieda & Sowers, 1860), 170-171. 

“ These statistics are from the “Table of Statistics of the Church of the United Brethren in 
Christ for 1866,” The United Brethren Almanac, 1867 (Dayton, Ohio: W.J. Shuey, 1867), 28. 

‘“Paul A.W. Wallace, Lebanon Valley College: A Centennial History (Published by the College, 
1966), 6. 

‘"“On Educational Interests,” Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1865, 15. 

''The information concerning the AnnviUe Academy comes from two sources: a paper read 
before the Lebanon County Historical Society, April 15, 1904, by Professor Hiram H. 

Shenk, “'The AnnviUe Academy,” Lebanon Historical Society Papers, Vol. 2, No. 14, and a 
newspaper article by Joseph Warner, “History of AnnviUe,” The AnnviUe Journal, August 15, 
1908. 

"Paul Wallace reports that an educated guess about the buUding standing idle is that “The 
Academy was turned over to the CoUege as a going venture. If it was dead, it had not been 
dead long enough to be completely washed up.” Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 23. 

"‘Edna J. Carmean, ed., Lebanon County, Pennsylvania — A History (Lebanon County His- 
torical Society, 1976), 185. 

"“‘For a more complete rendering of the events leading to the selection of AnnvUle, see 
“Unpublished History of Lebanon Valley College,” The Itinerant, Vol. I, 13-16, and Wallace, 
Lebanon Valley College, 8-9. 

^ The material about leasing the school and the relationship between Miles Rigor and 
Thomas Vickroy comes from an undated and handwritten manuscript by G.W MUes Rigor, 
Lebanon Valley College. 

" 'The information concerning Vickroy and Dickinson College is from a handwritten letter 
from Vickroy to the president of Dickinson that is dated June 12, 1866. 

" G.W. Miles Rigor, Lebanon Valley College. 


6 


Chapter i 

Without Much Promise 


I t was a beginning without much promise. Twelve United Brethren 

colleges had been founded before Lebanon Valley College. Only one — Ot- 
terbein University (now Otterbein College) — survived. The United Brethren 
Almanac For The Year 1867 listed seven colleges and seminaries, plus Lebanon 
Valley College. By 1891, four of the seven institutions had already disappeared. 
The death rate for United Brethren colleges was horrific. Consequently, when 
Lebanon Valley College welcomed its first students in 1866, the odds of survival 
were not good. Much of this was due to the United Brethren Church not being 
of one mind concerning collegiate institutions. 


There were those within the United Breth- 
ren Church for whom assisting the young 
in acquiring an education in a United 
Brethren school was thought to be a noble 
task. Such an education, it was believed, 
would combine learning with piety and 
produce trained leaders for the church and 
the larger society* A more self-serving mo- 
tivation for the support of United Brethren 
colleges was that the church’s youth were 
being lured into other churches by attend- 
ing other denominational schools. By es- 
tablishing a college within the boundaries 
of the East Pennsylvania Conference, it was 
believed that the exodus to other denomi- 
nations would diminish.'* 

There were also United Brethren members 
who opposed higher education. In his last 
Commencement address before leaving the 
College in 1871, President Vickroy referred 
to those whose opposition encumbered the 
College’s progress and threatened its survival: 



First Annual College Catalogue, 
1866-1867 


7 


More would have been accomplished had I not so frequently been 
thwarted. Where I should have received counsel, I have received 
censure; where I should have had sympathy, I have been chilled 
with coldness; where my efforts should have elicited a grateful 
recognition, I have received opposition and obloquy. 

Vickroy was not the only president in the nascent years to run a gauntlet of op- 
position from within the church. President Lucian H. Hammond [1871-1876] 
in 1872 spoke to the East Pennsylvania Conference of “the unsparing efforts 
made... to disaffect the minds of students and even to turn them altogether from 
the school.”*'' President Edmund S. Lorenz [1887-1889], in his 1889 report to 
the church, spoke of the neglect by the church conferences as an expression of 
antagonism by those who were opposed to higher education.'' This antagonism 
during the founding years was at times aggressive and deliberately harmful. On 
other occasions, it was disguised and covert. 



(1. to r.): Lucian H. Hammond, M.A., President, 1871-1876; Rev. Edmund S. Lorenz, 
A.M., President, 1887-1889; and. Rev. Cyrus J. Kephart, A.M., President, 1889-1890 


B ishop John Russel was twice elected to the ofhce of bishop of the United 
Brethren Church. His manner of address and poise bespoke a man who 
was comfortable being in charge. He was resolute, said Rev. C.T. Steam, 
in his convictions and was the “enemy of everything he believed to be wrong.” 

John Russel was less than friendly to the cause of higher education. He had 
tried to prevent the founding of Otterbein University in 1845 and lost the 
battle. He opposed the creation of Lebanon Valley College in 1866 and again 
was defeated. Russel was not a quitter. In 1867, at the request of the pastor of 
the College Church, Russel came to Annville to preach. In an act laced with 
malice, he used the occasion to make a sneak attack on the fledgling college. He 
used for his text the words of Paul: “Knowledge puffeth up.” He hurled argu- 
ments, wrote LVC President E. Benjamin Bierman four years later, “regaling 


8 




the... enemies of the progressive movement.” On February 20, 1868, President 
Vickroy reported to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference that the enrollment 
of students was reduced from “more than one hundred” to “about seventy-five” 
by Russel’s action. John Russel had acted aggressively in opposing the new college." 

Though there were instances of overt antagonism, as with Russel, it was the 
covert opposition that most endangered the College’s future. This opposition 
took the form of disinterest and neglect. Near the 25th anniversary of the Col- 
lege, President Kephart [Cyrus J., 1889-1890] reported to the East Pennsylvania 
Conference: “Pardon me when I say that I am much surprised at the lack of 
interest in the educational work manifested by that part of the church cooperat- 
ing with Lebanon Valley College.”"* 

This lack of interest and neglect expressed itself in classrooms that were not 
filled, in dormitories that had empty rooms, and in a faculty that could have 
taught twice as many students.™* In 1889, President Kephart reported to the 
cooperating church conferences:*^ 

Avalon College with two cooperating conferences, having a membership of 
3,414, opened this fall with 115 students, or one student for every 30 members. 
Lebanon Valley has now 94 students, or one student for every 440 cooperating 
members.. ..If the enrollment this term [at Lebanon Valley] had been in the 
same proportion it was at Avalon College, the first day of this term would have 
given us 1,372 students.*' 

The failure of the United Brethren to send their children to the College was one 
expression of covert opposition. Another expression was the insufficient fund- 
ing of the College by the conferences. The College Forum, a monthly publica- 
tion of the College, described the school’s financial situation in February 1888. 

It noted that the authorities of Lebanon Valley College were being asked “to 
perform a difficult task — to run a college without money.” With sadness it was 
reported that the “church called for a good college, but when it was furnished, 
she simply neglected to pay the bills, and debt was the result.” 

W hat was the underlying source of this antagonism that at times was 
aggressive, but more often covert? Anti-intellectualism was part of 
the landscape of the United Brethren movement in its early years.*** 
This anti-intellectualism was suspicious of the life of the mind. Though Philip 
Otterbein was classically and theologically trained, most of the preachers in the 
movement were not. They relied not on aid from books, but on, in their words, 
“the Holy Spirit.” In contrast, many viewed the educated clergy of the day as 
dull promoters of correct faith — their learned preaching lacking power and a 
sense of connection with the sacred. This fostered an anti-inteUectualism in 


9 


which being educated came to mean being deficient in piety. There was a fear 
that schooling beyond “the three R’s” would draw young people away from the 
Bible and promote worldliness. What mattered to the United Brethren was the 
experience of conversion. The minister’s success in 
winning souls was the test of effectiveness. 

In such an atmosphere of anti-intellectualism, it is 
understandable that there would be opposition to the 
College. But there were moments when it became 
evident that the opposition would ultimately not 
prevail. LVC President DeLong [David D., 1876-1887] 
reported the following in 1885 to a joint session of the 
Pennsylvania and East Pennsylvania Conferences: 

Less than a quarter century ago, a number of 
brethren were impressed that it was the duty 
of the Church in the East to provide for the 
moral and intellectual culture of her sons and daughters. This 
conviction has not only overcome manifold discouragements 
and opposition, but has actualized itself in buildings, librar- 
ies, laboratory, and museum. Aye more in the hundreds of 
lives which are today battling more bravely and successfully 
for having dwelt for a time under the influence of ..a Christian 
College.”* 



Rev. David D. DeLong, A.M., 
President, 1876-1877 


10 



Chapter 2 Endnotes 

‘“We believe that intellectual and moral culture go hand in hand in elevating mankind and 
that a sanctified education is essential to extensive usefulness in.. .the Christian Church,” 
“Report on Education,” Mmuto of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1877, 13. 

“A resolution adopted by the East Pennsylvania Conference in 1880 stated that the church 
could not “expect to retain a strong hold upon its [youth] if it fails to offer them as good 
opportunities for growth as can be found elsewhere.” Minutes of the East Pennsylvania 
Conference, 1880, 17. 

‘“This address was delivered at the Commencement of June 22, 1871. “Valedictory Address,” 
The College Forum, Vol. VI, No. 1, January 1893, 2-4. The College Forum was a monthly 
magazine of the College that was first published in January 1888. 

“Report of the President of Lebanon Valley College,” Minutes of the East Pennsylvania 
Conference, 1872, 16-17. Eurther references to reports of presidents to conferences will only 
note the periodical referenced, with year and page number. 

''Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1889, 34. 

"Sources providing information about John Russel include Daniel Berger, Elistory of the 
Church of the United Brethren in Christ (Dayton, Ohio: United Brethren Publishing Elouse, 
1897), 291-294; E. Benjamin Bierman, “The Eirst Twenty-Five Years of Lebanon Valley 
College,” Papers Read Before the Lebanon County Elistorical Society, February 17, 1905, Vol. 
Ill, No. 4, 119; Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 35-40. 

'"'Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1889, 34. 

“Our Winter Term,” The College Forum, Vol. II, No. 11, November 1889, 83. 

By 1889, Cottage Elill College had closed and Lebanon Valley College had six cooperating 
conferences of the United Brethren Church: Allegheny, East Pennsylvania, East German, 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. These conferences pledged financial support and an 
access to students. 

"Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1889, 34-35. 

" Richard Elofstadter indicates that the anti-intellectualism of the period was part of the 
religious awakening that began in the mid- 18th century in America and embraced a much 
larger constituency than the United Brethren. Richard Elofstadter, Anti-lntellectualism in 
American Life, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964). 

Minutes of Joint Session of Pennsylvania Conference and East Pennsylvania Conference, 

1885, 24. 


11 


Chapter 3 

BecomingA College 


Lebanon Valley College was the given name for the school that opened on 
Monday morning, May 7, 1866. But becoming a college was not instantaneous 
with the first day of school. Lebanon Valley College would need to grow into its 
name. 

It is not entirely clear if the East Pennsylvania Conference, by its enabling reso- 
lution of 1866, was intent on launching a school of collegiate proportions. The 
1866 resolution stated that: 

...in establishing a Classical School in our midst, we do not 
contemplate interfering with the interest of Otterbein Univer- 
sity, but hope thereby rather to promote its interests by arous- 
ing our people to the importance of education, and in prepar- 
ing students for graduating in the regular College Course in 
said Otterbein University.* 

This resolution suggests that Lebanon Valley College was to be a preparatory 
school for Otterbein. Nevertheless, the Board of Trustees swiftly named the 
school Lebanon Valley College and not Lebanon Valley Academy. The College’s 
First Annual Catalogue, for the academic year 1866-1867, listed a “Collegiate 
Department” with course offerings that would lead to collegiate-level degrees. 
And yet, when opening the First Annual Catalogue there is a sketch of what 
had been the Annville Academy under which the reader beholds the uppercase 
caption “MODEL SCHOOL of LEBANON VALLEY COLLEGE.” It was as if, 
writes Dr. Paul A.W. Wallace [late chair and professor emeritus of English], “the 
old school had simply changed its name,”** in that a model school in 1866 was a 
school that offered grammar school classes.*** 

T he First Annual Catalogue of the College indicates that there were four 
departments of instruction for the academic year of 1866-1867.**' (1) 
The Model School Department offered primary, secondary, intermedi- 
ate, and elementary classes. Instruction was in spelling, reading, geography, 
penmanship, arithmetic, drawing, vocal music, classical and physical geog- 
raphy, and Latin. (2) The Normal Department provided instruction in the 
subjects required by law to be taught in the grammar schools of Pennsylvania, 


12 


and classes were focused on develop- 
ing “those powers of mind essential 
to make efficient teachers.” This two- 
year program conferred a Bachelor of 
Elements degree. (3) The Commercial 
Department provided classes in book- 
keeping, commercial mathematics, 
commercial law, business penmanship, 
and commercial correspondence. (4) 
The Collegiate Department offered four 
courses of study: a four-year Classical 
Course that conferred a Bachelor of 
Arts degree, a four-year Biblical Course 
that conferred a Bachelor of Biblical 
Studies degree, a three-year Ladies 
Course that conferred a Mistress of 
Arts degree,'' and a three-year Scien- 
tific Course that conferred a Bachelor of 
Science degree. Each course of study had preparatory classes, but on showing 
proficiency in the prescribed subjects, a student could begin as a freshman. 

There was little flexibility in the curriculum of the CoUegiate Department. 

Each course of study had the same prescribed classes in mathematics, English, 
natural science, philosophy, and rhetoric. For those in the Classical Course 
there was, moreover, a heavy dose of Latin and Greek in the first three years. 
Much time was spent translating Latin and Greek classics that were recited in 
class. The Biblical Course replaced Latin with Biblical studies and German. The 
Ladies Course included French instead of Greek, and the Scientific Course was 
designed for those who “do not desire to pursue the Classics and prefer to study 
the French and German languages and literature.” All students were required to 
take a course in moral science in their senior year. This class was taught by the 
College president. Ethical principles, the evidences of natural and revealed reli- 
gion, the history of philosophy, and political thought were all part of this class. 
The class was to forge character, quicken piety, and awaken civic responsibility.''' 


C ollegiate life in the nascent years involved more than translating ancient 
languages, examining arcane questions in class, and unraveling math- 
ematical problems. Lebanon Valley College had its literary societies. It 
was in these societies that students engaged in serious debate, read modern lit- 
erature, and scrutinized important issues of the day. The first of these societies, 
the Philokosmian Literary Society, was formed on May 6, 1867. It was a society 
for men. In 1873, the Clionian Literary Society — a society for women — came 
into being. And in 1877, the Kalozetean Literary Society originated as a second 






.ANNViLi.i':, 


Kiiri.nniurtl //// llir 'jivilt KlinrHM Ifil/i If/iirli /hrwrr r/fhrU in t/r- 
imrlwrul 1,'ir, „<rt. Hif i,>,lhwiti,-« of Uimnoo ()///,// Collro,- hn,-,' 
mttilr,iirou!l,’mr„l>lonru'foi-.. ft NoUM.M, ('t.ASS 

MONDAY, MARCH 30th, 1868, 

h, roiilni/ir l« |;|,\ I) T/'ix CIiikh is fnf Ihi- s/irrirtl lii iii/ll of those 

ll,-th<«J,;,„U,i. tWo.liuU. t‘>nm,uishl,,. JU.ilot i„nl Ufi/te,, .Inthiorlir. 
fUHshut ou'i I'olilinil (Irouril/ihll. Hii'linoiir tuiil .liiolnsis. History of 
the I'oilnl .'Itii/rs, Drriirioo (ili'i Mosir. irill, the /iririiror of jninili’J nny 
ofthr foUrfr Ctossrs u-ithoot rxtr; rhnryr. 


Normal Department Flier 


13 



Philokosmian Literary 
Society, 1870 



male society. Each group had its own meeting space and library. They were 
associations for mutual improvement.™ The College Forum of May 1892 gives a 
description of the meetings of one of the societies, the Philokosmian Literary 
Society: 


The rhetorical exercises consist of a regular programme.... The 
theme may be in literature, in which frequently the produc- 
tions of an age are taken up, studied, criticized, and compared 
by discussions and debates. On other occasions the topics may 
be religious, historical, social, or political. No live question 
escapes discussion or debate.™ 

Literary societies involved more than rhetorical exercises and intellectual 
improvement. Miss Anna E. Kreider, a student in the 1890s, gives us a peek at 
another side of these societies: 

Since public dancing was prohibited, following the Clios’ 
meeting the girls would organize the room for dancing. This 
really was something to see! The room was carpeted, and in 
those years there wasn’t anything like a vacuum cleaner. As a 
result, the dust was so dense the windows had to be opened to 
clear the atmosphere. The nights of these meetings afforded 
us... moments of fun.“ 


14 





Clionian Literary Society, 1900 


Good times were part of the atmosphere of the College. There were plays and 
the annual Chestnut Day excursions. Class Day, a fun day put on by seniors, 
was a part of Commencement week. Students would play baseball “mostly after 
4:00 o’clock and before 5:50 when the supper bell rang.”* Collegiate life in the 
nascent years also involved detailed rules that demanded strict compliance and 
daily attendance at chapel. The First Annual Catalogue notes that students were 
required “to attend prayers every morning and every evening except on Satur- 
day and Sabbath.” On the Sabbath they were required “to attend public worship 
twice.” The Sabbath morning they could worship “at such place as their parent... 
may designate.” In the evening they were to “attend church with the faculty”” 



15 





A ccording to the summary of enrollment in the First Annual Cata- 
logue, 1866-1867, there were 153 students enrolled at Lebanon Val- 
ley College. The summary lists the Preparatory or Model School with 
100 students, the Normal Department with 18 students, and the Commercial 
Department with 17 students. Since the total enrollment was 153, it would be 
expected, given the enrollment of the other departments, that the Collegiate 
Department would have had 18 students. That is not the case. The enrollment 
summary reports 53 students in the Collegiate Department. It is not known 
what was included in the number 53. For example, were those who took col- 
lege preparatory classes, and hence counted elsewhere, included? It is highly 
questionable that there were 53 college students headed for degrees.™ What is 
known is that the Model School and preparatory classes are where the over- 
whelming majority of students in 1866 were to be found. Lebanon Valley Col- 
lege was more of an academy than a college. 


Twenty-five years later it was obvious that a metamorphosis had taken place. 
First, the Catalogue of 1891-1892 makes no mention of a Model School, 
though there were preparatory classes. Secondly, the Biblical Studies Course 
and the Ladies Course no longer existed, and a new Academical Course, that 
was to provide “the necessary discipline and instruction for a practical educa- 
tion,” had been initiated. Thirdly, the courses of study had matured into a col- 
legiate stature. The Scientific Course was now a four-year program. The Normal 
Course was expanded to a three-year course of study.™' Music classes became 
the Musical Course, a three-year program with a concentration in either piano 
or voice and classes in English, American literature, grammar, German, and 
French or Italian. Fourthly, the enrollment summary of the Catalogue, 1891- 
1892, indicates that there were 27 preparatory students, four students in the 
non-degree-conferring Academical Course, 30 students taking music and art 
only, and 60 students in the degree-granting courses of study. Lebanon Valley 
College was growing into its name. 


16 


Chapter 3 Endnotes 

' “On Educational Interests,” Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1866, 15. 

“Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 24. 

‘“Issac A. Loos, Quarterly Review of the United Brethren in Christ, January 1891, 4. 

''' First Annual Catalogue, 1866-1867, 13-33. 

'' From its inception, Lebanon Valley College was coed. The school’s charter, which was 
granted by the State of Pennsylvania on April 5, 1867, spoke of “a college for the education 
of persons of both sexes.” There were those in the United Brethren Church who opposed 
the idea of coed education. They pressured the College to become a school for men. The 
Pennsylvania Conference withheld support for a time from the College, because it was a 
coed institution. The pressure was resisted. See Pennsylvania Conference Minutes, 1847- 
1868, 128. 

" Information about 19th century classes in moral philosophy or science can be found in 
Derek Bok’s, Our Underachieving Colleges (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006), 
13-14, and George Schmidt’s The Liberal Arts College: A Chapter in American Cultural His- 
tory (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1957), 46-48. 

™The Greek names chosen by these societies are indicative of associations seeking mutual 
improvement. PhUokosmian means “lover of beauty,” Clionian means “the muse of history,” 
and Kalozetean means “seeking the noble.” 

“History of the Philokosmian Literary Society,” The College Forum, Vol. 5, No. 5, May 1892, 
37. 

“ “A Glimpse of the Past,” a paper that was read by Miss Anna E. Kreider, at the age of 86, to 
the Lebanon Valley College Auxiliary on April 14, 1966. 

* The information about baseball comes from a manuscript that was written by Valentine 
Kline Fisher, Class of 1885. Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 248. 

^First Annual Catalogue, 1866-1867, 28, 32. 

™ In the first five years of the College, there were four actual graduates, which is considerably 
fewer than 53. Those four did not graduate with degrees. Evidently they had completed the 
Scientific Course and had not completed the language requirement. 

“Normal Course,” The College Forum, Vol. II, No. 12, December 1889, 91. 


17 



Students studying in Carnegie Library, 
which opened in 1905. 


1899-1932: 

A Recurring Bad Dream 



Chapter 4 

A Slough of Despond 


nstitutions live on a slippery slope where a foothold can be gained or lost. 
Their survival is not guaranteed, which certainly was Lebanon Valley Col- 
lege’s situation during its founding years. Survive it did, when other colleges 
did not, but the College’s foothold on the slippery slope remained in jeopardy 
for much of the period now to be considered. The possibility of slipping down 
into a slough of despond, from which extrication is difficult, kept recurring like 
a bad dream. It was a dream that cast into doubt the College’s ability to last. 


E . Benjamin Bierman, who had been a part of 
the first faculty of Lebanon Valley College and 
had left in 1880, returned in July 1890 to be- 
come the College’s sixth president.' It was a vexing 
time for the College; a season laced with controver- 
sy. The issue was relocation. There were those who 
questioned whether the College could be successful 
while located in Annville. These were lean years for 
the school. The situation was so grave, wrote Edna 
Carmean, that “faculty families were invited to eat 
meals in the College Dining Hall in lieu of salary.”'' 

There were those who felt that relocation was necessary. The Harrisburg Call, an 
area newspaper, advocated bringing the College to Harrisburg. “ At the meet- 
ing of the Pennsylvania Conference on February 28, 1891, it was learned that 
Chambersburg, Pa., and Hagerstown, Md., had been making quiet inquiries 
about hosting the College." The Allegheny Conference of the United Breth- 
ren Church, unhappy with the school being located in Annville, withdrew its 
support of the CoUege." The raising of funds was hindered. The College Forum 
reported that there were those who responded to requests for funding by say- 
ing, “The College is in an unsteady condition just now, while removal is being 
agitated, and there is no use putting money into it.”"’ 

On Thursday, June 18, 1891, the trustees of the College acknowledged that “a 
sentiment exists favorable to the re-location of Lebanon Valley College.” They 
resolved, “That we cannot entertain the thought of abandoning what we now 
have, unless an offer thoroughly guaranteed, be made of grounds and not less 



E. Benjamin Bierman, A.M., 
President, 1890-1897 



19 


than one hundred thousand ($100,000) dollars.”"' No such offer was made. The 
College would remain in Annville. This was confirmed by the actions of the 
trustees at their June 1892 meeting. At that meeting they took steps to purchase 
five acres adjoining the College for athletic fields. They also authorized the sale 
of a frame building on Sheridan Street, the erection of a north wing of the main 
building, and improvements to the Ladies Hall.™' The relocation question was 
at last settled. 



North Hall, South Parlor, Ladies Hall, 1906 


President Bierman spent his first summer as president attacking the practi- 
cal problems of the College. Ladies’ Hall and North College had a thorough 
renovation. President Bierman and Professor John Evans Lehman repaired 
and papered their recitation rooms at their own expense. Others of the faculty 
determined to foUow their example. Such improvements revived interest in the 
College, as did the relocation question being settled in 1892.'* You now had a 
future that seemed much more hopeful. 

“But the mood of progress could not be maintained,”* wrote Edna Carmean. 
Funds were never adequate. Faculty salaries, including the president’s, fell into 
arrears." President Bierman expressed his frustration to the members of the 
East Pennsylvania Conference in 1892. He stated that to expect the managers 
of the College “to work with limited facilities under continual financial embar- 
rassment, and yet turn out the best specimens of workmanship, is unreason- 
able. It cannot be done.” In 1897, after seven years of what had been frantic 
fiscal juggling, weary of being mired in a swamp of financial brinkmanship. 
President Bierman resigned. 


20 



B y June 1897, the indebtedness of the College had 
reached $41,000.™ The faculty, not having been 
paid regularly, had members resign. A gray mist 
of gloom shrouded the Colleges future. Into this slough 
of despond came a new president, Hervin Ulysses 
Roop. He was young (28 years of age) and enthusiastic. 

He had “an impressive platform presence,” a string of 
degrees after his name (A.B., A.M., Ph.D.), all of them 
earned, and persuasive charm.”™' 

Rev. Hervin Ulysses Roop, Ph.D., 
Within 15 months, Roop reduced the debt of President, 1897-1906 

the College from more than $41,000 to less than 

$10,000. Enrollment increased. The total number of students for the 1897-1898 
academic year was 204, with 94 students enrolled in the collegiate program.™ 

Six years later there was a total enrollment of 470, with 160 enrolled in the 
Collegiate Department.” Roop reorganized the curriculum. There were now 
five courses of study: Classical, Philosophical, Chemical-Biological, Historical- 
Political, and Modern Language.™ The new curriculum introduced the use of 
a limited number of electives in the junior and senior years and encouraged 
the sciences.™' In 1899, the first course in biology was given. Under President 
Roop, College athletics experienced a new spurt of energy. Football and basket- 
ball teams were organized for the first time. 




1912 Football Team 


With the widening of the courses of instruction, a growing student body, and 
an increase in the number of professors, it became apparent that the existing 
facilities were inadequate to meet the needs of the College. Four major building 
projects were initiated: the Engle Music Hall in 1898, an annex to the Adminis- 
tration Building in 1900, the foundation for the Brightbill Gymnasium in 1902, 
and thanks to a $20,000 gift from Andrew Carnegie, a new library in 1904.™“ 
With all of this activity, the recurring bad dream that questioned the College’s 
survival dimmed. 


21 



ALFRED TENNYSON SUMNER. 

Alfred Tennyson Sumner, a native of 
the dark continent was born in Bonthe, 
Shcrbro, West Africa. At an early age 
he attended the United Brethren Mission 
School at Shangeh, graduating there in 
’95. During the two succeeding years 
Allred taught in his native village. See- 
ing the great need of his people and feel- 
ing that higher training would better 
qualify him for his future work in the 
field of missions, he came to this country 
in the summer of ’98 and in the fall of the 
same year entered Lebanon Valley. 
Since here .Alfred has proven himself to 
be a gentleman, a student brilliant be- 
yond expectation, and a universal favor- 
ite. Mr. Sumner contemplates a medical 
education in the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, after which he will return to Africa 
as a missionary. Success be with him is 
the wish of ’02. 




Alfred Tennyson Sumner ’02, from Sierra Leone, 
believed to be the College’s first African graduate, went on to author 
the grammars of the Mendes, Sherbo, and Temne languages. 



Old Administration Building prior to the 1 904 Christmas Eve fire 


22 




I t was a disastrous fire. In less than two hours on Christmas Eve of 1904, 
fanned by a strong wind from the east, the College’s Administration Build- 
ing was destroyed. Its “large and heavy timbers,” reported The Annville Jour- 
nal, “were consumed like straw.”“'‘ The building contained dormitory rooms for 
men, the science department, recitation rooms, and the central heating plant. 
President Roop, displaying quick-witted organizational skills, got the school 
running with the loss of only one week of classes. Makeshift classrooms were 
established in the remaining buildings. Rooms, graciously provided by resi- 
dents of Annville, were found for more than 100 male students. 



Old Administration Building after the 1 904 Christmas Eve fire 


Six days after the fire. President Roop, in an attempt to secure funding, vis- 
ited Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie promised $50,000 “toward the erection of a 
Greater Lebanon Valley College.” He did so on the condition that the College 
raise a matching amount of $50,000 beyond the insurance money that would 
come from the fire. The friends of the College rallied to its support. The neces- 
sary funds to meet the Carnegie challenge were pledged. 

The year 1905 saw seven buildings under construction: the Administration 
Building, a central heating plant, a men’s dormitory, a women’s dormitory, 
Carnegie Library, Brightbill Gymnasium, and a science building. There was a 
spirit of optimism, but the euphoria soon faded. Near the end of 1905, the 
flow of money slowed to a thin stream and then to a trickle. Mr. Brightbill 
failed to provide the money for the gymnasium. The project was halted. Work 
also stopped on the Administration Building because of insufficient funds. The 
College found itself heavily in debt. There was dissatisfaction. Donors withdrew 
their support of the rebuilding fund. 


23 





1902 Bizarre Yearbook Staff 



Rev. J.S. Mills, a United Brethren bishop and a College trustee during the Roop 
years, writes that “conditions in the College led the faculty and others to peti- 
tion the president of the Board of Trustees of the College to call a meeting of 
the trustees and make an investigation.”™ The investigation was to focus on 
Roop’s conduct as president. The complaints against him included nepotism, 
forgery, a failure to give accurate financial reports, and an inability to explain 
discrepancies in accounts that he had handled. People took sides. In the midst 
of this tumultuous storm, Roop resigned.™' The College found itself on Janu- 
ary 1, 1906, with a president who had resigned, heavily in debt, and with halted 
construction of major buildings. The gray mist of gloom had returned. 

T he situation in 1906 was desperate. The recurring bad dream, with the 
College knee-deep in debt and with its very survival threatened, had 
reappeared. On March 9, 1906, Abram Paul Funkhouser [1906-1907] 
became the eighth president of Lebanon VaUey College. In Funkhouser ’s words, 
the financial situation of the College was “sore and pressing.” Funds intended 
for the science hall, with the approval of the donor, had to be diverted to the 
general building fund so that the Administration Building could be completed. 
Salaries, which were already minimal, were reduced. There was uneasiness 
among creditors. Some of them threatened lawsuits and secured judgments 
against the College. Just as the clouds of bankruptcy seemed to be forming. 
President Funkhouser reported that a “five percent, ten-year mortgage loan 
[had been] placed on the College property on May 1 for $50,000.” He was then 
able to declare that with the “proceeds of this loan, and with the good of- 
fices of friends in securing other loans. . .nearly all of the creditors [had been] 
satisfied.”™ 


24 



The emergency had been met. Funkhouser had stopped the financial hemor- 
rhaging. He had bridged the dangerous chasm of financial collapse, and by 
so doing kept the College alive.™ The College would continue, but not with 
Funkhouser as president. In 1907, he refused reelection as president and went 
home to Virginia. 

T hough creditors had been paid and financial collapse had been avoided 
during the Funkhouser presidency, the College found itself drowning in 
debt on June 12, 1907. It was on this day, precisely at noon, that Law- 
rence W. Keister [1907-1912] became the president of Lebanon Valley College. 
The debt of the College in June 1907 was $89,460.™' By June 1908, the debt had 
increased to $92,484.™ 

Keister was a member of a prominent western Penn- 
sylvania family. The Keisters were industrialists who 
owned coal mines and coke ovens. Lawrence Keister 
was sagacious and practical. Early on, it became clear 
to him that the Colleges income was unequal to the 
current expenses and future needs of the College. 

Three things, as he saw it, needed to occur: “match 
current expenses with current income, pay off the 
present debt, and build [an] endowment.”™'*' 

During President Keister’s tenure, the debt was reduced. 

In his last report to the East Pennsylvania Confer- 
ence, he stated that as of March 11, 1911, the College’s 
debt was $48,925. This was a reduction of more than 
$43,000 from what the debt had been in June 1908. 

Keister was careful with expenses. In his 1908 report 
to the conferences, he noted that to reduce expenses 
the “work of the College is to be done with one less 
professor” and that the equipment for advanced work 
in physics would be deferred until funds could be 
secured. To increase income, he challenged each of the 
supporting conferences that same year to pay $1,500 
instead of $1,000 to the College. 

Despite financial issues demanding much of his energy and time. President 
Keister did give attention to matters beyond that of balancing budgets. Aca- 
demic standards were raised. Entrance requirements were revised. He secured, 
from a family friend in western Pennsylvania, a gift to equip the biological 
laboratories. Buildings were renovated, and the roof of the new Administration 
Building was at long last successfully freed of leaks. 



(above): The Rev. Abram P. 
Funkhouser, A.M., President, 
1906-1907; (below): Rev. 
Lawrence W. Keister, D.D., 
President, 1907-1912 



25 



During each year of the Keister presidency, the annual budget would show 
an estimated deficit, with no provision by the Board of Trustees to cover the 
shortage.”"” Yet at the end of the year, the shortage would be covered by what 
Keister called a “special solicitation.”™ This solicitation involved Keister paying 
bills from his own funds and from contributions by his family. A letter from his 
older brother, Albert, provides a glimpse into what was taking place. 


May 31, 1910, Scottdale, Pa. 

Brother Lawrence: 

As the school year is near the close, I am writing you to 
know if you have sufficient funds to pay all your teachers in 
full. I think this should be done in order that the school may 
have better standing. You let me know at once as there will be 
some here for that purpose if needed. 

Yours Respectfully, 

Albert Keister 

The financial ledgers of the College indicate that the Keister family quietly 
contributed about $50,000 to the College. By so doing, the College was rescued 
from its financial slough of despond, and a mood of hope was awakened. But 
in 1912, Lawrence Keister, at this point a tired man, resigned to return home to 
western Pennsylvania. Lebanon Valley College was now faced with a haunting 
question: What would happen to the College without the Keister resources? 


26 


Chapter 4 Endnotes 

‘In 1866, Bierman was professor of the Normal Branches and principal of the Model School 
of Lebanon Valley College. From 1867 to 1872, he occupied the chair of English Language 
and Literature. In 1872 untU he resigned in 1880, he was professor of Mathematics and 
Astronomy. 

“This information is from an unpublished paper by Edna J. Carmean, President E. Benjamin 
Bierman: 1890-1897, 4. 

Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 102. 

‘''Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 102. 

“A report of the Committee on Education of the Allegheny Conference stated, “We are sorry 
to confess that we are not, and have not been satisfied with the policy and management of 
Lebanon Valley College.” The policy that caused the dissatisfaction and the withdrawal of 
support was the failure of the College to relocate. Minutes of the Allegheny Conference, 1 891, 
26-27. 


''“Objections to Observing College Day,” The College Forum, Vol. IV, No. 4, April 1891, 28. 

''‘“Trustee Meeting,” The College Forum, Vol. IV, No. 6, June 1891, 47. 

''““Board of Trustees,” The College Forum, Vol. V, No. 6, June 1892, 49. 

“‘“Our Improvements,” The College Forum, Vol. IV, No. 7, September 1891, 50. 

“Carmean, President E. Benjamin Bierman, 4. 

"In 1895, at a meeting of the trustees, it was acknowledged that before the opening of the 
fall term “the sum of five thousand ($5,000) dollars or more” would need to be secured to 
pay the salaries of the faculty and meet other pressing needs. “Trustee Meeting,” The College 
Forum, Vol. VIII, No. 6, June 1895, 253. 

^'Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1897, 33. 

““‘Much of the information in Chapter 4 concerning the Roop administration is from an 
unpublished paper by Edna J. Carmean, President Roop, 1897-1906, and Wallace, Lebanon 
Valley College, 115-127. 

^'‘Catalogue, 1897-1898, 16. 

"Catalogue, 1904-1905, 65. 

"'Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 118. 

"'Catalogue, 1900-1901,24-26. 

““■“See Carmean, President Roop, 3-4, and “Editorial,” The College Forum, Vol. XVIII, No. 1, 
October 1904, 15, for additional information concerning construction activity. 

A description of the fire can be found in The Annville Journal, December 31, 1904, 1. 


27 


“ Carmean, President Roop, 5. 

™ The information regarding the charges brought against President Roop is from an un- 
published paper of Bishop J.S. MiUs, Lebanon Valley and President Roop, and a letter by the 
bishop dated September 1, 1908. 

““Did Roop’s presidency end with his resignation in 1905 or in 1906? Edna Carmean argues 
that it ended in 1906. She notes the following: Roop resigned December 28, 1905. The Col- 
leges trustees met “on January 5 to consider his letter of resignation.. ..Later that month the 
Board met in special session and re-instated Roop as President by a vote of twelve to nine.” 
But he stipulated that he would accept this offer only if the vote was unanimous. “The battle 
lines between foes and friend had been drawn so rigidly that this was impossible,” so the 
search for a new president began. Carmean, President Roop, 5. 

™“The nature of the situation that confronted President Funkhouser is described in his report 
to the East Pennsylvania Conference of October 1906. Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Con- 
ference, 1906, 17. 

Edna J. Carmean, President Funkhouser, 1 906-1907, an unpublished paper, 4-5. 

^Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1907, 32. 

Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1908, 19. 

Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 142. 

“™The estimated shortfall in 1908 was $6,312. In 1911, the deficit was calculated at $4,000. 

^Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1910, 27. 

“Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 145. 


28 


Chapter 5 

The Sweet Smell of Success 


G eorge Daniel Gossard [1912-1932] served as 
president of Lebanon Valley College for nearly 
20 years. He became the Colleges president in 
September 1912 and served until his death on April 
17, 1932. On his election as president, the trustees 
of the College laid before him a number of challeng- 
ing tasks. He was to increase the number of students, 
liquidate the growing debt, raise an adequate endow- 
ment, maintain a favorable budget balance, and ensure 
that the College be a fully accredited institution.' The 
first 46 years of the College did not bode well for such 
matters to be accomplished. Yet, 17 years into his presi- 
dency, Gossard reported to the church conferences: 



Rev. George D. Gossard, 
D.D., President, 1912-1932 


This has been a great year for Lebanon Valley College. The number of 
students last year was the highest we ever had.... The finances for the 
year were exceedingly good. We were able to pay all bills and at the 
same time did considerable improving. In those hard days of the past, 
we used to ask — what will the shortage be this year? Now, with wise 
management, endowment and a greatly increased student body, we 
ask — what will the surplus be?“ 


Engle Hall: 

Stage and Organ 



29 




The College by 1929 was prospering. Since 1926, it had experienced one “great 
year” after another. The recurring bad dream that the College might not survive 
had been replaced by the sweet smell of success. How had this happened? 



1914 Faculty, President George D. Gossard, Center 


I n the early years of the Gossard presidency, the exhilaration of success was 
absent. There was an enrollment decrease because of World War I, even 
though the federal government helped the College by establishing a unit 
of the Student Army Training Corps on campus. “ Those were the years when 
it was asked, “What will the shortage be this year?” By 1916, total indebted- 
ness of the College had risen to $73,000.''' Without the Keister family pouring 
money into the Colleges treasury, the books did not balance. “In the summer 
of 1915,” notes Wallace, “a rumor spread among prospective students that the 
College was closing its doors.”'' The College did not close, but three years after 
the rumor Gossard informed the church conferences that if help had not come, 
the College in his mind “would no longer be in existence.”''* 

Help came through a ftnancial campaign that was launched in 1918. The trust- 
ees of the College resolved at their June 1917 meeting to raise $250,000.'” The 
cooperating conferences, after due consideration, decided to raise $350,000 
rather than $250,000. With an organizational plan that divided the churches 
into groups and zones that had designated leaders, pledges were solicited. The 
amount pledged was $382,357. With the help of a now enlarged endowment, 
Gossard was able to increase the salaries of the faculty and add to the instruc- 
tional staff. In 1913, Gossard’s first full year as president, the net enrollment at 


30 


the College was 226, but by 1924 it had grown to 593. The increased enrollment 
meant that adding new faculty became critical. The needs of the College were 
expanding. 

By 1921, it was evident that the financial needs of the College were again 
greater than its income. Something had to be done. In 1921, President Gos- 
sard made application to the General Education Board (a Rockefeller fund) 
for financial assistance. The assistance was to increase salaries, cover deficits, 
and enable the addition of professors of education and English.™ The General 
Education Board acted favorably on the application, giving $8,000 in 1921 and 
$8,000 in 1922. In 1923, the College requested another grant of $8,000 and a 
“large contribution” for an endowment fund. On May 24, 1923, the General 
Education Board voted to contribute $8,000 for faculty salaries. It also voted 
to grant the College “$175,000 towards additional endowment on the condi- 
tion that the college would raise twice that amount, or $350,000,” and pay 
off its debt.“ The East Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Conferences of the 
United Brethren Church paid the debt of $88,247.08.* The goal of $350,000 was 
pledged by July 1, 1924,” and the endowment reached the sum of $912,384 in 
1931.™ The College had finally exited from the nightmare of unbalanced bud- 
gets, growing debt, and an inadequate endowment. 

D uring the Thanksgiving season of 1921, the Association of Colleges 

and Preparatory Schools of the Middle States and Maryland published 
its first list of approved colleges. Lebanon Valley College hoped to be 
included on the list. When it was learned that it was not included, the shock 
was severe. By its exclusion, the accrediting association had judged the College 
as not meeting its standards. This non-accreditation threatened the College’s 
ability to attract students. The school’s existence was again in jeopardy. 

The examiner’s rationale for not including the College on its list of accredited 
schools was due to a lack of sufficient endowment, too few Ph.D.s, the existence 
of the Academy, a lenient admission policy, a library with periodicals that were 
not up-to-date, and the absence of a trained librarian. With great energy, led by 
President Gossard, various College committees leaped into action. Remedial 
measures were undertaken including the hiring of a trained librarian, requiring 
four years of academic or high school preparation for admittance, and updating 
library periodicals to the equivalent of those of other colleges. The Academy 
was also to be discontinued in a year, and the College authorized hiring two 
new professors with Ph.D. degrees. 

President Gossard, in a letter dated January 10, 1922, informed the Standard- 
ization Commission of the accrediting association of the remedial steps that the 
College was taking.™ He then visited each of the 14 commissioners individu- 


31 



Faculty, students, and families at Gretna Lake 


ally. During these visits, he shared the College’s progress and vitality. On May 
26, 1922, the commission “voted unanimously to place Lebanon Valley College 
on the approved list.” The College had become a fully accredited institution.™ 

The accreditation process strengthened the academic program of the College, 
yet it was but a single step in an ongoing quest to be “an institution. . .of high 
grade.” The quest led the faculty to a pedagogy that included more than lectures 
and recitations. In the laboratory, students were invited to discover for them- 
selves. Oratory classes found fulfillment in stage productions.” In 1923, the 
year after being accredited, the quest for excellence caused the curriculum to be 
significantly improved. A system of majors and minors was introduced. The 
Catalogue described the program in the following manner: 

As a part of this total requirement [124 semester hours], every 
candidate must present at least 24 semester hours in one de- 
partment (to be known as his Major), and at least 16 semester 
hours in another department (to be known as his Minor) . . . 

The A.B. degree will be awarded to those fulfilling the re- 
quirements for a Major in the following departments: Bible 
and New Testament Greek, English, French, German, Greek, 

History, Latin, Mathematics (Arts option). Political and Social 
Science, Philosophy and Religion. 

The B.S. degree will be awarded to those fulfilling the require- 
ments for a Major in the following departments: Biology, 

Chemistry, Mathematics (Science option). Physics. 

The B.S. in Ed. degree will be awarded to those fulfilling the 
requirements for a Major in Education, but in this case two 
Minors of not less than 16 semester hours each must be pre- 
sented. 


32 



W hen George Daniel Gossard became president of Lebanon Valley 
Gollege, a number of problems were laid at his feet. The problems 
were not new. They had been grappled with since the school’s incep- 
tion. With an earnest zeal and an unwavering dedication to the advancement 
of the Gollege, Gossard engaged these matters. During his nearly two decades 
as president, the student body grew from a net enrollment of 226 (1913) to 709 
(1931-1932),™ the school’s debt was liquidated, an endowment of more than 
$900,000 was secured, budgets were balanced, the GoUege received accredita- 
tion, and the number of faculty increased from five in 1913 (one of whom had 
a doctorate) to 24 in 1932-1933 (16 of whom had doctorates).™' President 
Goddard, who is described by Dr. Hiram Shenk [LVG professor, 1899-1916, 
1920-1950] as a man of “gentlemanly bearing” and “unfailing courtesy,”™ 
achieved much during his presidency. But perhaps his greatest achievement 
was replacing the bad dream that the Gollege might not survive with the sweet 
smell of success. 


33 


Chapter 5 Endnotes 

‘“Phenomenal Growth of College Due to Work of Dr. Gossard,” La Vie Collegienne, April 21, 
1932, 1. La Vie Collegienne is the Colleges student newspaper. 

"Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1929, 42. 

'"Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1918, 21. 

"'Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1916, 23. 

''Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 163. 

'"Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1923, 39. 

“First Annual Report of the Conference Superintendent,” Minutes of the East Pennsylvania 
Conference, 1918, 8. 

"“This information comes from the material that was sent to the General Education Fund. 
The amount requested was $16,906.50. 

"'Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1923, 41. 

"Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1925, 58. 

""Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1924, 41. 

""Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1931, 35. 

"“Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 178-180, gives the complete text of the letter. 

"'"The information regarding accreditation comes from the Minutes of the East Pennsylvania 
Conference, 1922, 52, and Wallace, Lefcunon Valley College, 178-180. 

"'The pedagogy of Flenry Eckert Wanner, professor of chemistry and physics, is described 
in the following manner: “In the laboratory he invites you to find out for yourself, but is al- 
ways ready to assist when assistance means economy of time and no loss of opportunity to 
learn.” Bizarre 1912 (Published by The Junior Class of Lebanon Valley College, 1912), 1 1. In 
1912, the first Shakespearean commencement play was staged. It was directed by Professor 
May Belle Adams of the Oratory Department. Stage productions were seen as the platform 
on which skills learned in the oratory classroom could be honed. The Quittapahilla, 1920 
(Published by The Junior Class of Lebanon Valley College, 1920), 4. 

""'Catalogue, 1923, 28. 

"""Catalogue, 1913, 53, and Catalogue, 1931-1932, 85. 

"""'Catalogue, 1913, 5, and Catalogue, 1932-1933, 6-9. 

“The description of President Gossard comes from a tribute by Dr. Fliram El. Shenk in the 
La Vie Collegienne, April 21, 1932, 1. 


34 


Chapter 6 

Observant Propriety 
and Nefarious Pranks 


T here was from the 1890s through the 1930s a code of behavior — an 

observant propriety — to which Lebanon Valley College students were to 
adhere. In 1922, The Crucible, a student publication, described a senior 
class event. 


Senior Hike 

It was just the kind of a night for a hike, warm, a yellow moon 
and a starlit sky... 

A delightful spot was chosen in the woods near by, and the 
gallants soon had a roaring fire. Every one gathered around 
the blazing logs and roasted “doggies”.... 

Mr. Boyer entertained us very cleverly by reviewing the his- 
tory of the class.... Then the singing of the college songs made 
the woods ring. 

Under the charming chaperonage of Professor and Mrs. 

Grimm and “Coach” Hollinger, the Seniors wended their way 
homeward from the last hike.' 

The “Senior Hike” bespeaks of a propriety in which vulgarity and vicious 
conduct are absent. It bears the imprint of a code of behavior that values order, 
participation, and community. Such propriety was woven into the fabric of the 
College from its beginning. On the one hand, vulgarity in language or action 
and vicious conduct were frowned on. Gambling, the drinking of intoxicating 
liquors, the use of tobacco on campus, idleness, and “incorrigibility” were to 
be punished.'' On the other hand, participation in literary societies, cultural 
events, chapel services, religious groups, class events, and athletic teams was 
encouraged. 


35 



The first May Day pageant was held in 1912 
under the direction of Miss May Belle Adams, professor of oratory and dramatics. 


A myriad of activities were laced into the rhythm of student life from the 1890s 
through the early 1930s. There were class hikes, May Day celebrations, parties, 
and the Star Course, which included lectures and entertainment in the chapel. 
There were religious services, activities of the Christian associations (YMCA 
and YWCA), weekly prayer meetings, and an annual week of prayer.“ The 
literary societies, during the early years, had programs, socials, debates, and 
orations. These societies were so successful that a fourth literary society, the Del- 
phian Society for women, was formed in 1921.''' The number of athletic teams 
expanded. Now the College was represented by teams that played baseball, men’s 
basketball, women’s basketball, track, and football. 

President Bierman in 1894, echoed by President Roop in 1903, described 
student life at the College with its innumerable activities as displaying “a strong 
sentiment... against disorder and ungodliness.” An observant propriety, as Bier- 
man saw it, that valued order and not disorder, godliness and not vulgarity, was 
the code of behavior that was being practiced. And yet the Clios, during the 
Bierman presidency when public dancing was prohibited by the College, would 
organize their room for dancing after their formal meetings, and, as reported 
by Wallace, “There were occasional pranks. ..such as bringing a horse and buggy 
onto the chapel platform before morning prayers.”'' 

B y the time of Keister’s presidency, playful incidents were becoming 

nefarious pranks, and observant propriety was contending with raucous 
disorder. There were disturbances in the men’s dormitory.''' The Death 
League, a hooded band that was dedicated to terrifying freshmen, was becom- 
ing “bold and defiant.” There was unrest among students because President 


36 



Keister was considered less than fully supportive of College athletics, and the 
new gymnasium was still unbuilt.™ 

It was the night of January 18, 1911, when the smoldering unrest on campus 
ignited. The unrest was directed toward President Keister. That afternoon the 
Athletic Association requested of the faculty, with the president presiding, “that 
athletic ability be considered as well as scholarship in awarding scholarships.”™' 
This request came after a disastrous football season in which Lebanon Valley 
had been outclassed by most of its opponents, scoring only 51 points to the 
opponents’ 212 points.*" The football program was in crisis. The coach wrote 
in the College News (the student newspaper): “It is unwise to continue to send 
out a team to play other college teams represented as we are.”" Therefore, the re- 
quest was made that athletic scholarships be considered. The faculty responded 
by informing the Athletic Association that “there are no scholarships which can 
be awarded according to this request.” 

After the faculty meeting, the night of the 18th, President Keister went to the 
men’s dormitory to discuss matters with the Senior-Junior Council. The situ- 
ation was tense. Suddenly, out went the dormitory lights. There was an eerie 
darkness. A loud clatter of cans was heard outside the door of the dormitory 
room in which President Keister found himself This was followed by a banging 
on the room’s closed door. Those hammering on the door chanted: “We want 
blood. We want blood. We want Prexy’s blood.” When the chanting had finally 
quieted and the president thought that he could depart safely, he left the room. 
But as he exited, he was doused with two buckets of cold water. Observant pro- 
priety, at least for that moment, had been usurped. 



The Alumni Gymnasium before a Philokosmian Dance 


37 



G eorge Gossard succeeded Keister as president of the College. With a 

firm resolve, Gossard laid down rules at his first faculty meeting for the 
daily chapel service. The bell of the Administration Building was to be 
rung as a signal for chapel. The faculty was to sit on the rostrum. Students were 
to sit in assigned seats, and attendance would be taken."'' 



Lenny the Leopard, originally known as 
the African Leopard, was from Sierra 
Leone and came to LVC as a prized gift 
from missionary William M. Martin, 
Class of 1918. It later became a popular 
prank to “steal” Lenny and have him 
reappear in unlikely places, including the 
Lebanon Post Office and various campus 
classrooms. 


The new president’s firmness was tempered with understanding. He understood 
that there was a lack of harmony between the administration and the student 
body. With the help of his wife, who was a gifted hostess, students were invited 
to parties at the president’s residence.”' Athletic scholarships were granted. By 
1914, the College News could speak of “L. Ys Greatest Foot Ball Season.” It was 
a season in which Lebanon Valley scored 234 points against their opponents’ 22 
points.”"' 


The Gossard presidency brought heal- 
ing to the rift that existed between the 
administration and the students in the 
Keister years. But raucous disorder did 
not disappear. In 1930, La Vie Col- 
legienne, the successor to the College 
News, reported: “For several years... the 
practice of throwing aU kinds of refuse 
on the campus in front of the men’s 
dormitory has persisted in spite of the 
remonstrances of those who have the 
interests of the school at heart.” The 
refuse included “Camel stubs. Prince 
Albert tins, scraps of blue-books, and 



38 


The cape- and mask-wearing Red Avenger 
was a mysterious creature who randomly 
appeared during campus special events. 



bits of broken glass-ware.” Inside, the men’s dormitory hallways and rooms 
were unswept and littered with trash. The article concluded: “Really, this sort of 
thing isn’t done at Lebanon Valley College in other matters. It is contrary to the 
very spirit of the institution.”™ 



Wig and Buckle Theater Company 


Two weeks after reporting the trashing of the men’s dormitory. La Vie Collegi- 
enne printed a story about “Chapel Hooters.” 

“Will those children [in] the galley be quiet when the show 
begins, or do you think I should speak to them about it?” This 
was the. ..apprehension expressed by the director of the first 
star course program to a student when “the children” were 
hooting, cat-calling, and in general producing pandemo- 
nium.... “The children” were none other than our grown-up 
collegiate males who insist by their obstreperousness upon 
disgracing the college in the eyes of our visitors every time a 
chapel entertainment is given.... 

Let us hang out the “dorm” windows to do our hooting and 
cat-calling, if that is our occasional inclination, but at our 
entertainments let us conduct ourselves as men whom visitors 
will consider well-bred and cultured.” 

Observant propriety — a code of behavior that values order, culture, and piety — 
found itself jousting with raucous disorder. 


39 



Chapter 6 Endnotes 

‘“Senior Hike,” The Crucible, October 10, 1922, 8. 

“First Annual Catalogue, 1866-1867, 32. 

‘“The week of prayer was marked by prayer meetings and “evangelistic talks.” “Week of 
Prayer Observed Here,” College News, March 10, 1914, 1, and “L.V. For Christ,” College 
News, February 2, 1915, 1. 

‘''The inaugural program of the Delphian Literary Society was on December 2, 1921. The 
Crucible, December 10, 1921, 13. 

“Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 106. 

“‘“Editorial,” College News, October 11, 1910, 2. 

““ “Editorial,” CoHe^e News, September 26, 1911, 2, and EdnaJ. Carmean, President Keister, 
an unpublished paper, 3. 

“‘“The events of January 18, 1911, are told more fully in Wallaces centennial history of the 
College. Wallace, Lefofl«o« Valley College, 153-158. 

‘"There were nine games scheduled in 191 1, of which five were against college teams. The five 
college teams scored 148 points to Lebanon Valley College’s six points. These statistics come 
from the College News, September 19, 1911, through November 28, 1911. 

"Coach Wilder, “Football at Lebanon Valley,” College News, November 21, 1911, 1-2. 

"■Edna J. Carmean, President Gossard, an unpublished paper, 1. 

"“ One such party that was given by the Gossards was called the “Automobile Party.” The 
invitation included a doggerel that exemplifies the nature of these gatherings: “An automo- 
bile party we are going to give. You’ll remember it as long as you live. On the third of June 
be sure to come. For if you don’t you’ll miss the fun. And so dear Seniors, one and all. We 
extend to you this hearty call.” 

""‘Professor A.E. Shroyer, “L. Vs Greatest Foot Ball Season,” College News, Vol. VI, No. 13, 
December 8, 1914, 1. 

"‘““The Old Refrain,” La Vie Collegienne, March 13, 1930, 2. 

"“ “Lost! Chapel Hooters,” La Vie Collegienne, March 27, 1930, 2. 


40 



Engle Hall 


41 




LVC students leave Annville to serve in World War II. 


1932-1983: 

A Pockmarked Landscape 




Chapter 7 

A Challenging Terrain 


A pockmarked landscape is what the College found itself crossing from 
1932-1983. The Great Depression, three wars, church mergers, and a 
shrinking pool of available students were part of the dithcult terrain to 
be crossed. The three presidents who traversed this landscape — Clyde A. Lynch 
[1932-1950], Frederic K. Miller [1951-1967], and Frederick?. Sample [1968- 
1983] — had different challenges to face. The terrain in 1945 involved a flood of 
more mature students who, on returning from war and with the aid of the G.l. 
Bill of Rights, enrolled in colleges in unprecedented numbers. In contrast, the 
topography in 1980 meant dealing with a decline of high school graduates in 
the College’s primary recruitment area. Each situation provided its own chal- 
lenges and possible pitfalls. How the pockmarked landscape was traveled is a 
story of unflinching resolve, unwavering institutional loyalty, and surprising 
endurance. 


t: 



|he year was 1932. On the last day of September, 

Clyde Alvin Lynch, a short man with dark hair and 
high energy, was elected to the presidency of 
Lebanon Valley College. He had graduated from the 
College in 1918 and from the Bonebrake Theological 
Seminary in 1921. While serving a church in Philadelphia, 
he enrolled in the Ph.D. program in psychology at the 
University of Pennsylvania. Having completed his class 
work, with only his thesis to finish, he returned 
in 1930 to Bonebrake, the only seminary of the Rev. Clyde A. Lynch, D.D., Ph.D., 
United Brethren Church, as professor of homi- President, 1932-1950 

letics. He received his Ph.D. in 1931. 

“Clyde Alvin Lynch was a born preacher,” writes Edna Carmean.' His aptitude 
for preaching became evident early. He was appointed to a United Brethren 
circuit when he was only 18 years of age. At the Bonebrake Theological Semi- 
nary, he taught the craft of preaching to future pastors. The trustees of Lebanon 
Valley College in 1932 were looking for a president who could help the Col- 
lege — someone who was a good speaker, was better known, and who had the 
proper academic credentials. In Lynch, they found such a speaker and a holder 
of a Ph.D. 


43 


Lynch began his presidency at a time when the Great Depression was sucking 
the life out of the nation. At its depth in 1933, 16 million people, one-third of 
the labor force, were unemployed. Under such conditions, sending a child to 
college became a luxury that many families could no longer afford. Student 
enrollment in colleges declined, and the competition between schools for 
available students intensified. In 1933, Lebanon Valley College experienced a 
decrease of 25 students from the previous year and, more alarmingly, a decrease 
of 31 freshmen from the preceding year. Enrollment needed to be stabilized.'* 

Steps were initiated to achieve stabilization. A more active advertising cam- 
paign was launched. Road signs announcing the College for prospective visitors 
were installed. A weekly radio program on a Harrisburg station was initiated 
and competitive scholarship examinations were begun. The first of these exami- 
nations took place on May 5, 1934. Ninety-one students, representing 46 high 
schools, competed for three full-time scholarships, three half-time scholarships, 
and three day-student scholarships of $50 each. The expectation was that those 
who did not receive scholarships would find the atmosphere of the College so 
congenial that they would choose Lebanon Valley. “* With such efforts, enroll- 
ment not only stabilized but slowly increased. The challenging terrain of the 
Great Depression was successfully crossed, though it exacted its pound of flesh. 
To meet the deficits occasioned by the Depression years, faculty salaries were 
reduced and tuition charges increased." 



Girls’ Band, 1939. 


44 



No sooner had the Great Depression passed 
than war arrived. World War II threatened small 
colleges across the nation. To meet the national 
emergency of the war, males were being drafted 
into the military. This dramatically affected col- 
lege enrollment. The number of male students at 
Lebanon Valley College declined precipitously, 
so much so that a plaintive verse describing the 
situation was heard: “Lord, send me something 
in pants to take me to the Clio dance.”^ During 
the 1942-1943 academic year, 124 men left the 
College to serve in the military. In 1940, the 
year before the United States entered World 
War II, enrollment at the College was 410. By 
September 1943, total enrollment had slipped 
to 200. Only 64 of the 200 students were male, 
when normally twice as many men than women 
would be enrolled. The men who were enrolled 
were either waiting to be called by a Draft Board 
or deferred for a limited time. 



Emerson Metoxen, Class of 1927, 
was one at least four American 
Indians who attended LVC in the 
early 20th century. 



LVC students prepare to leave Annville to serve in World War II. 


45 




1 946-1 947 Chemistry Club 


The decreased enrollment caused a sizable drop in the Colleges income. In 
1943, President Lynch reported to the trustees that Lebanon Valley College 
could “become a deplorable casualty of the war.”^‘ He indicated that this was 
not a time for retrenchment, but of moving ahead by increasing the endow- 
ment and erecting better facilities.™ A financial campaign was launched to raise 
$550,000 for the purpose of creating a physical education building, increasing 
the endowment, and liquidating indebtedness. The pledges exceeded the goal. 
The East Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Conferences pledged $424,855 of 
the $552,127 promised. The remaining funding came from alumni ($58,898), 
Lebanon County ($56,806), and general gifts ($1 1,568).™ The College emerged 
from the war without debt, having completed a successful financial campaign, 
and with an endowment of a million dollars. 

With the war ended, veterans, aided by the G.I. Bill, sought a college educa- 
tion in unheard of numbers. In 1948, enrollment at the College swelled to 813 
full-time students, of whom 53 percent were returning military. War had ma- 
tured these veterans. They had goals and a seriousness about them. Some were 
married and had part-time jobs. They expected excellence in the classroom.^ 

To meet the requirements of a greatly increased student body, the faculty was 
augmented. In 1947, there were 21 additions to the faculty, and in 1948, 12 
new members were added.’^ Dean Alvin H.M. Stonecipher [professor and dean, 
1932-1959], musing on the transition from war time to peace time, reported to 
the College’s trustees: “We were passing from abnormally lean years in Col- 
lege enrollment, but we were headed for equally abnormal high enrollment. To 
speak paradoxically, abnormality has become almost normal.”^' But normality 
did return. By 1950, fewer veterans were seeking admission. 

46 



It became evident in the summer of 1950 that President Lynch’s health was 
failing. He wrote to a friend, “I think I would rather live a busy life and drop off 
suddenly than to spare myself too much and live to a ripe but uneventful old 
age.” It happened precisely as Lynch wished. Carmean writes, “Early on Sunday 
morning, August 6, 1950, after a busy week in his office, he died [at age 58] in 
his sleep.”™ He died having successfully guided the College through the chal- 
lenges that the Great Depression and World War II presented. 



Clyde A. Lynch ’18 Memorial Hall 


D r. Lynch was buried on a hot August day. On that same day, an acting 
president of Lebanon Valley College was appointed by the school’s 
trustees. They chose a member of the faculty, Frederic Keiper Miller, 
who had been serving as chair of the History Department and as the assistant 
to the president. Ten months later, on June 1, 1951, Frederic Miller was elected 
to the presidency of the College.™ 

“Fritz” Miller grew up five miles from Lebanon Val- 
ley College. His father, the pastor of the Salem United 
Brethren Church in Lebanon, was a graduate of LVC 
and was one of the College’s first alumni trustees. It 
seemed natural for young Frederic to matriculate at 
The Valley. He graduated from the College in 1929. 

He then entered the University of Pennsylvania, 
earning an M.A. in 1931 and a Ph.D. in 1948. ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

President, 1951-1967 



47 



In 1939, a dream came true for Frederic Miller. He joined the faculty of his 
alma mater to teach history. An “article in the Alumni News recalls him as ‘the 
tall, dark-haired professor with the leisurely, narrative -like lectures and the 
disconcerting habit of asking questions that required reasoning rather than 
memorized answers from the text.’”™ 

The terrain that greeted the new president was challenging. It was not an un- 
familiar landscape for the CoUege. As war was a part of the topography in the 
Lynch years, it also was a part of the Miller years. Just as the declining birth rate 
of the early 1930s created a smaller pool of high school graduates, the Korean 
War came. The war led to a decline in enrollment as young men were inducted 
into the military. In 1949, before the war, 828 students were enrolled. By the 
1952 fall semester, enrollment was down to 481. The College was operating “in 
the red.” Budgets were tightened. No one envisioned a balanced budget in Dr. 
Miller’s first years as president.^ 

The landscape was further complicated by a less than stellar 1950 evaluation 
by a Middle States Association Evaluation Committee. Though the evaluating 
committee found the atmosphere of the College to be “wholesome and satis- 
factory,” a number of major recommendations were made, with the expecta- 
tion that the school’s progress would be reviewed in two years.™ At a time of 
decreased student enrollment, expenses exceeding income, and the danger of 
losing accreditation, it would have been easy for an attitude of defeat to have 
held the College in its embrace. Instead, a resolute President Miller set out to 
fulfill the dream of the school’s founders, that Lebanon Valley College be “an 
institution. ..of high grade.” 



48 


The A.R. Kreider Manufacturing Company 
was transformed into Science Hall in 1957. 



Steps were taken to comply with the recommendations of the evaluating com- 
mittee. Enough progress was made by 1952 for the Middle States Association to 
continue Lebanon Valley College on its list of accredited institutions. 

Two major fundraising drives were initiated. Each was successful. The College 
raised $1,090,000 in 1955-1956, well above the original goal of $900,000. Ten 
years later the Centennial Fund reached $1,600,000. Such funds contributed to 
buildings being renovated and new construction. The Lynch Gymnasium was 
given air-conditioning and furnished with new lighting and heating systems. 
The three-story Kreider Manufacturing Company building was purchased and 
renovated to accommodate the Biology and Chemistry departments. It be- 
came Science Hall. Seven new buildings were constructed during the 16-year 
presidency of Dr. Miller: Gossard Memorial Library (1957), Mary Capp Green 
Hall (1957), the College Dining Hall (1957), Vickroy Hall (1961), Keister Hall 
(1965), Hammond Hall (1965), and the chapel (1966).”“ 



Members of the 1965 Women’s Basketball Team 


In the academic area, classes became smaller. An honors program and indepen- 
dent study opportunities were introduced. “Faculty salaries,” notes Carmean, 
“were revised sharply upward, a policy granting sabbatical leaves was estab- 
lished, and financial grants were made available for approved summer study 
projects.”™ The faculty grew from 56 to 83, and the student body that num- 
bered 512 in 1951 grew to 835 by 1967.™ 


49 



On April 1, 1967, Dr. Frederic K. Miller left the College to become Pennsylva- 
nia’s first Commissioner of Higher Education. He had, during the 16 years of 
his presidency, traversed a challenging landscape from which a more mature 
institution emerged. 

A Uan W. Mund became the acting president of Lebanon Valley College 
on April 1, 1967. Mund, who had been the president of the College’s 
Board of Trustees since 1962 and would continue in that capacity, saw 
himself as providing leadership until a new president was in place.*" Mund, 
who had received an honorary doctorate from the College in 1966, appointed a 
nine-member search committee. At its first meeting, the committee determined 
that an ideal candidate should have educational experience, a church relation- 
ship, skill in human relations, administrative experience, an understanding of 
youth, and public speaking ability. The committee also decided that the ideal 
candidate would be between 40 and 50 years of age, with a wife who was able 
“to serve as a gracious hostess.”™ 

More than 150 persons were proposed to the committee. All were considered, 
but only one survived the rigorous sifting: Frederick Palmer Sample. Sample 
met aU of the committee’s expectations but one, which he was expected to at- 
tain in the course of time, in that he was three years short of being 40 years of 
age mi Qj^ 3^ 1968, the trustees elected him the 13th president of Lebanon 
Valley College. 



Frederick P. Sample, D.Ed., 
D.H.L., President, 1968-1983 


Sample graduated from Lebanon Valley College cum 
laude in 1952. He was a star athlete who lettered in foot- 
ball and track, and was a member of Phi Alpha Epsilon, 
a campus honorary society whose membership was 
based on scholastic achievement. Following graduation, 
he taught at Annville High School for a year, moved to 
the Red Lion School District as a teacher and then as an 
administrator, and earned a master of education degree 
at Western Maryland College. In 1964, at the age of 34, 
having advanced in the teaching profession with mercu- 
rial speed, Frederick Sample became the superintendent 
of schools for the Manheim Township School District. 


After four years at Manheim, on Sept. 1, 1968, the same year that he completed 
his doctorate in education, the Sample presidency of Lebanon Valley Col- 
lege commenced. This was a time when the Vietnam War, affirmative action, 
and the desegregation of schools were part of the national scene. It was an era 
strewn with campus anti-war marches and demonstrations in support of civil 
rights. At LVC, civil rights leaders spoke on campus, a number of students par- 


50 


ticipated in a May 1970 anti-war march at Dickinson College, and a prayer vigil 
was held on the steps of Miller Chapel after the Kent State shootings, but there 
were no protest marches or demonstrations on campus. Lebanon Valley College 
seemed somewhat insulated from the unrest of the national scene. 

Though President Sample did not have to deal with the repercussions of such 
things as campus rallies where draft cards were burned, there were other chal- 
lenges that demanded his attention. The College’s trustees had determined 
that the number of full-time students should “grow gradually to a few over 
one thousand.”™ That challenging goal was attained. By September 1974, the 
enrollment of full-time students reached a zenith. It had gradually and steadily 
crept upward from 857 in 1968, the first year of the Sample presidency, to 1,053 
in 1974.™ 

A growing student body and President Sample’s resolve that the College be a 
place where academic excellence and the development of character were com- 
bined led to an awareness that new and better facilities for academic endeavors 
and student life were needed.”" Two new student residence halls were built. 
Silver and Funkhouser. The Fund for Fulfillment campaign was launched in 
two phases. Phase I, in the early 1970s, was designed to provide funds for the 
construction of a college center, a new music building, a pedestrian bridge over 
the railroad, a new campus entrance, and to increase the College’s endowment. 
The goal of Phase I was $4.5 million. It was reached in three years. The goal was 
exceeded, with pledges by September 1978 totaling $4,610,898.™ 

During the second half of the 1970s, Phase II of the Fund for Fulfillment was 
launched. The intention was to raise $10 million for a new science center, where 
research facilities and teaching space would, declared Sample, “surpass those 
provided for undergraduate study in almost any program anywhere.™' In No- 
vember 1983, it was announced that the College had exceeded its $10 million 
goal by $400,000.™“ 

As Phase I of the Fund for Fulfillment was being successfully completed, the 
ugly shadow of declining enrollment again fell on the College’s path. Presi- 
dents Lynch and Miller had struggled with stretches of decline. It would be no 
different for Frederick Sample. The first year of the decline was the 1974-1975 
academic year. In succeeding years, like a slow-moving but toxic vine, declining 
enrollment continued its steady creep. By the opening of the 1983-1984 school 
year, full-time enrollment had sunk to 825, a decrease of 228 students from the 
1974-1975 high of 1,053. 

In explaining the decline. President Sample said, “Many forces are at work.”™ 
One of those forces was a decline in the number of high school graduates in 
the early 1980s within the College’s primary recruitment area (Pennsylvania, 


51 


Maryland, and New Jersey). Other forces at work were an increased popularity 
of two-year over four-year colleges, a greater interest in technological skill than 
in liberal arts proficiency, and a cutting back of music education in elementary 
and secondary schools.™ 

On May 25, 1978, in an atmosphere in which the College continued to negoti- 
ate the slippery terrain of declining enrollment, a newly formed President’s 
Planning Commission met for the first time. The stated purpose of the commis- 
sion was to help the College “see and seize new opportunities.... identify what is 
most important toward fulfilling our stated purpose.... [and] select courses of 
action.”™' Early on it was decided that “The basic assumption of the Planning 
Commission is that the survival of Lebanon Valley is at stake.”™“ 

There were good reasons for the commission to be concerned about the Col- 
lege’s future. Unless strategies were devised and executed to stem an eroding 
student population, there would be an insufficient financial base to continue 
as a healthy institution.™"" A contrast with a peer institution made the situa- 
tion seem no less dire. Enrollment at LVC dropped in September 1981, with 
55 fewer full-time students than the previous year. That same September, 
Elizabethtown College announced that it was experiencing “the second highest 
new enrollment figure since the school was founded.”™"'' With humor and an 
absence of panic, an editorial in The Quad, the student newspaper, described 
the situation: 

By now I’m sure most of you know about the decrease in en- 
rollment. The drop in students has placed the College in a se- 
rious situation — serious, but not critical. So to all of you who 
have been losing sleep over the abundance of singles (rooms, 
not people) on campus, you can stop worrying so much. 

You shouldn’t stop worrying all together, though. The fact is 
that the school has been losing students steadily for the past 
five years. This is not what you would call a good omen. 

But, the deans seem to think they have the situation under 
control, so you don’t have to start packing your bags. LVC is 
not going to fold in the near future.™" 

As in earlier years, Lebanon Valley College did not fold. It stayed very much 
alive. In April 1983, Frederick Sample announced his resignation as president 
effective Dec. 31, 1983. He explained, “The completion of [the] Garber Science 
Center and.. ..the completion of the capital campaign by December just provide 
a great opportunity for a change.”™"" 


52 







1 









Chapter 7 Endnotes 

‘The information regarding President Lynch’s background and selection as president of 
Lebanon VaUey College is from an unpublished paper by Edna J. Carmean, President Lynch: 
1932-1950. 

''Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1933, 35. 

‘“A more detailed description of the steps taken to stabilize enrollment during the Depres- 
sion years is found in Wallace’s Lebanon Valley College, 200-201. 

'''Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1937, 38. 

'"Ibis is a remembrance of Edna J. Carmean. It was stated in a March 15, 1996, interview that 
is part of the College’s oral history project. 

'"President’s Report to the Board of Trustees of Lebanon Valley College, 1943, 2. 

™President Lynch had made this appeal as early as 1941. Minutes of the East Pennsylvania 
Conference, 1941, 38. 

'"''Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1948, 52. 

‘“Information regarding the maturity and expectations of the returning veterans comes from 
a July 9, 2007 interview of George “Rinso” Marquette. 

“The 1947 number is from La Vie Collegienne, September 26, 1947, 1. The 1948 number is 
from the Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1948, 50. 

'"Deans Report to the Board of Trustees of Lebanon Valley College, 1947, 1. 

““Carmean, President Lynch, 5. 

““‘The source of the material regarding President Miller is an unpublished paper by Edna J. 
Carmean, President Miller, 1951-1967. 

“‘“Carmean, President Miller, 3. 

““Information regarding the effect of the Korean War on enrollment and the budget are from 
Dr. Miller’s Report of the Acting President of Lebanon Valley College for the College Year, 
1950-1951, June 1, 1951, 1-2. 

““‘Included among the recommendations by the Middle States Association Evaluating Com- 
mittee were the following: teaching and pupil loads be reduced, salaries be high enough 
to make unnecessary heavy teaching loads for purposes of supplementing income, a new 
library, an adequate social center, and better laboratory facilities. Report of the President of 
Lebanon Valley College for the College Year, 1949-1950, 4-20. 

'""'La Vie Collegienne, January 13, 1967, 3-4. 

““‘“Carmean, President Miller, 4. 


54 


“The enrollment for 1951 comes from “Report of the President, June 1, 1952,” Lebanon 
Valley College Bulletin, August 1952, 2. The enrollment for 1967 is from La Vie Collegienne, 
January 13, 1967, 4. The faculty numbers are from Carmean, President Miller, 4. 

“Allan W. Mund H’66, the retired board chairman of the Ellicott Machine Corporation, on 
becoming acting president, stressed the temporary nature of the appointment by the com- 
ment: “I feel highly honored that the Board has placed this trust in me. I look forward to 
their continued cooperation during this transition period. With their assistance I am confi- 
dent that we can maintain the upward surge of the College....” Office of Public Relations, For 
Release, Saturday, A.M., April 1, 1. 

“The information regarding the ideal candidate comes from the Faculty Newsletter, Febru- 
ary 8, 1968, 2. 

Faculty Newsletter, February 8, 1968, 2. 

^^Report of the President 1973-1974, 2. 

“""The 1968 enrollment figure is from Report of the President of Lebanon Valley College 
1968-1969, 1. The 1974 figure is from “Lebanon Valley College” Journal of the Eastern 
Pennsylvania Conference, 1975, 124. 

™ln 1976, President Sample stated, “Sometimes education appears uninterested in the 
combination of academic excellence and a concern for persons. But I continued to find this 
combination as a major priority at Lebanon Valley.” “President Cites Progress in Report for 
1975-1976,” LVC Journal, September 1976, 1. 

“"“Presidents Report 1977-1978,” LVC Journal, September 1978, 3. 

'^Report of the President 1982-1983, 2. 

xivm“Lvc Raises 10 M,” The Quad, November 10, 1983, 1. 

““Linda Friskey, “President Sample Answers the $5460 Question,” The Quad, February 20, 
1979, 2-3. 


“Greg Stanson ’63, who became director of admissions in 1972, noted in an interview that 
in the late 1970s schools were cutting their music education programs. The market for 
music teachers collapsed. This hurt Lebanon Valley College, because it had a strong music 
education program. With an absence of jobs, the number of music education majors at the 
College plummeted. 

“"The President’s Planning Commission that was chaired by the president of the College 
was “composed of the Vice President/Dean of the college. Vice President/Controller, Dean 
of Students, Executive Director of Development and College Relations, Assistant Dean and 
Registrar, Director of Admissions, Director of Weekend College, Chaplain, the five Faculty 
who are on the Board of Trustees, and the Chairperson of the Faculty’s Central Committee.” 
The five task forces that reported to the Planning Commission were “Program and Delivery 
Systems, Finance and Development, Recruitment and Enrollment, Student Services and Ex- 
tra-Curricular Activities, and Supportive Services and Auxiliary Enterprises.” The Creation 
of The Lebanon Valley College President’s Planning Commission with Working Task Forces, 1, 
3-4. 


Minutes of the Planning Commission, November 17, 1978, 1. 


55 


“"“Decreased enrollment meant lean budgets. Stringent financial controls were imposed. In 
September of the 1977-1978 academic year, because enrollment was less than projected, 
the administrator of each division of the College was asked to propose new budgets for 
their area with a net overall cut of 3 percent. By the second semester, with a much larger at- 
trition of students than was normal, “a total freeze on purchase orders and travel vouchers” 
for the remaining three months of the fiscal year was put in place. AU of this was occurring 
at a time when financial support from the church was decreasing. It fell from $164,161 
in 1971-1972 to $86,409 in 1976-1977. No longer could the college go to the church, as 
did Lynch, for a “bailout.” Minutes of the Planning Commission, October 27, 1978, 1; 
Presidents Staff Meeting, January 27, 1978, 1, and April 14, 1978, 1; Journal of the Eastern 
Pennsylvania Conference, 1978, 107-108. 

“"“Mike Thomas, “Stanson and Reed Discuss Enrollment,” The Quad, September 11, 1981, 1. 

““Dawn Humphrey ’83, “In Case Anybody Out There Cares...” The Quad, September 11, 
1981,2. 

““■David Frye ’84, Amy Hostetler ’84, Pete Johansson ’84, and Sharon Ford ’83, “Sample An- 
nounces His Intent to Resign,” The Quad, April 22, 1983, 1. 


56 


Chapter 8 

S trivingfor Excellence 


F rederic Miller, in a 1957 report to the Lebanon Valley College trustees, 

remarked: “Is [a] college good enough for the most promising young man 
or woman? This is the critical question.”' Lebanon Valley College was 
good enough for the promising Bruce Manning Metzger. It provided him with 
a curriculum that was demanding and professors who carefully nurtured his 
development. 

Metzger grew up in Middletown, Pa., a town with a 
population of about 6,000 that got its name during the 
stagecoach days, because it was the midpoint, where tired 
horses were replaced by rested ones, between Lancaster 
and Carlisle. His father, a lawyer, hoped that his son 
would also become a lawyer and that the shingle out- 
side the office would someday read, “Metzger and Son.”" 

Instead, young Metzger became an internationally re- 
nowned scholar, who earned a Ph.D. in classics 
at Princeton University, was a world leader in Bruce Manning Metzger, 

the textual study of the New Testament, chaired Class of 1935 

the Committee of Translators for the New Re- 
vised Version of the Bible, taught at Princeton Theological Seminary for more 
than 40 years,'" and was acknowledged as “the greatest American New Testa- 
ment critic and biblical translator of the twentieth century.”''' 

Lebanon Valley College played a significant role in Bruce Metzgers develop- 
ment as a scholar. After graduating in 1931 from Middletown High School, 
Metzger entered Lebanon Valley College, his fathers alma mater. All students 
were expected to take a foreign language. Metzger chose the elementary course 
in classical Greek grammar. In his Reminiscences of an Octogenarian, he writes, 

“I developed a liking for the language.”'' Because of that, he decided to continue 
with the study of Greek. Metzger’s professor of Greek was Gustavus A. Richie, 
who had included the study of New Testament textual criticism in his gradu- 
ate work at the University of Pennsylvania. Consequently, in the third year of 
Greek, Richie had his students read part of the New Testament’s book of Acts in 
Greek and make a comparison of a section of Acts preserved in two divergent 
manuscripts. 



57 


In addition to Metzger taking a fourth year of Greek under Professor Richie, 
Alvin H.M. Stonecipher, the professor of Latin, kindly agreed to offer Metzger 
two semesters of Greek as an independent study. The offer was readily accepted 
by Metzger. Plato’s Euthyphro was translated as well as several of the Apostolic 
Fathers in the class. By the latter part of his college career it became apparent, 
writes Metzger, that becoming a teacher of New Testament Greek “was the kind 
of work I would find altogether congenial.”” 

Metzger, as an octogenarian, had this reminiscence of the quality of his college 
education: “. . .as I look back now, I feel that I was particularly fortunate in the 
scope and kinds of instruction made available on the campus of a small liberal 
arts college [Lebanon Valley] with an enrollment of about six hundred.”^“ 

A demanding curriculum with nurturing professors is critical if a college 
is to be an institution of excellence. For Metzger, a student in the early 
years of the Lynch presidency, Lebanon Valley Gollege provided both a 
demanding curriculum and nurturing professors. The school was for him what 
the GoUege’s founders had intended: “an institution of learning of high grade.” 

Striving for excellence, rather than settling for a run-of-the-mill institution, was 
the intention of those who founded the Gollege in 1866. Though the founders 
never defined “of high grade,” the Gollege’s Statements of Purpose during the 
Miller and Sample years provide us with some clues as to what later leaders 
envisioned. These statements picture a college of excellence as being “academi- 
cally strong, guided by the Ghristian faith, and small enough to give personal 
attention to all students.”™' They see a school “of high grade” producing stu- 
dents prepared to lead “intellectually and aesthetically full lives,” trained for 
certain vocations or with pre-professional proficiency, and capable of intelligent 
and informed service in the community.^ For Metzger and so many others, 
what was envisioned in the Statements of Purpose had become actual in their 
lives. 

T he quest for institutional excellence, to which a demanding curriculum 
with nurturing professors is critical, is an ongoing aspiration. It is a 
pursuit that recognizes that institutions are perpetually growing up and 
may not be sure, at least some of the time, where the growing may lead. It is a 
quest that perceives excellence as sometimes not attained, which is no excuse 
for failing to do better in the future. 

The goal of Lebanon Valley GoUege to be an institution “of high grade” was not 
always attained. With the end of World War II, returning veterans, aided by 
education allowances under the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (the GI 


58 



Members of the Beta Beta Beta Biology Club 


Bill), enrolled in colleges in unprecedented numbers. At the same time, there 
was a lack of qualified professors to meet the demands of increased enrollment. 
At LVC the student body increased by 300 percent from 1944 to 1948. New 
professors were hired.* Some would not have been hired under normal condi- 
tions. According to Dr. Carl Ehrhart [professor and dean, 1947-1980], they 
“were temporary until the College could find the right people.”” 


Though excellence was not always achieved, its pursuit was constant. That 
pursuit led throughout the Lynch, Miller, and Sample years to periodic exami- 
nations of and changes to the general education program.™ It was responsible 
for the College acquiring a reputation in Central Pennsylvania for offering a 
rigorous and demanding academic program. In 1946, a study financed by the 
Carnegie Foundation examined which colleges consistently produced the larg- 
est proportion of graduates who became scientists. Scientists were defined as 
those who received doctorates in the natural sciences and were listed in Ameri- 
can Men of Science. Lebanon Valley College was ranked among the 50 lead- 
ing institutions in the United States in this respect.™ A study by the Office of 
Scientific and Engineering Personnel of the National Research Council “ranked 
the Lebanon Valley chemistry department among the top 4 percent and the 
biology department among the top 10 percent of 877 undergraduate institu- 
tions nationwide in the number of graduates earning Ph.D. degrees in the time 
period 1920-1986.”**’' 


59 




(above): Dr. Alison Hartman ’07, 
Fulbright Scholar; 
(below): Dr Mary Olanich ’05, 
Fulbright Scholar 



In 1976, a prestigious Fulbright scholar- 
ship was awarded to a Lebanon Valley 
College student. In the next six years, five 
others received coveted Fulbright grants 
for post-graduate study in places such 
as Australia and France.”" The quest for 
excellence was creating graduates of ac- 
complishment. 

To graduate such students involved more 
than a demanding curriculum. Challeng- 
ing and accessible professors were critical. 
Professor Stonecipher cared enough to do 
more than was required when he engaged 
with Bruce Metzger in an independent 
study of the Greek text of the Didache and 
several epistles of Ignatius and Polycarp.”' 
Professor Andrew Bender [1921-1951], 
who taught chemistry and had a Ph.D. 
from Columbia, would often work in his 
office in the evening. Since doors were 
locked at night, students would climb the 
fire escape, knock on his office window, 
and enter his office by way of the window. 
There, he would help them discover 
answers to their chemistry inquiries.”" It 
was challenging and accessible professors, 
coupled with a demanding curriculum, 
that was the soil in which Lebanon Valley 
College’s academic strength germinated. 


60 


Chapter 8 Endnotes 

' This statement by Dr. Myron W. Wickie, who in 1957 was the director of education of the 
Board of Education of the Methodist Church, is quoted by Frederic Miller in his Report of 
the President Presented to the Board of Trustees, 1957-1958, 1. 

“The information regarding Metzgers childhood and college experience comes from his 
autobiography. Bruce Manning Metzger, Reminiscences of an Octogenarian (Peabody, Mass.: 
Hendrickson Publishers, 1997), 3-11. 

‘“The information regarding Metzgers accomplishments is from “New Testament Scholar 
and Bible Translator Bruce Metzger Dies,” News, Presbyterian News Service, February 16, 
2007. 

■''This exceptional accolade was by Dr. Iain R. Torrance, the president of Princeton Theologi- 
cal Seminary. The Princeton Seminary Bulletin, Vol. XXVIII, Number 1, New Series 2007, 

99. 

"Metzger, Reminiscences, 8. 

'^Metzger, Reminiscences, 11. 

™ Metzger, Reminiscences, 10. 

'"''Catalogue, 1978-1979, 9. 

''^Catalogue, 1960-1962, 13. 

“Twenty-one new faculty members were hired in 1947. In 1942, the faculty consisted of 26 
members. The faculty in five years had nearly doubled. Catalogue, 1942-1943, 9-11, and La 
Vie Collegienne, September 26, 1947, 1. 

”Dr. Carl Ehrhart ’40 is the source of the material regarding the post- World War II hiring 
practice. Dr. Ehrhart came to the College in 1947 as professor of philosophy. In 1960, he be- 
came dean of the College. His observations were made on March 18, 2002, in an interview 
that is part of the oral history project of the College. 

““President Lynch lamented, on May 23, 1947, that students whose interests are in the sci- 
ences take a minimum number of courses in the social sciences and humanities. Whereas, 
students interested in the social sciences and humanities take limited coursework in the 
natural sciences. He asserted that there is a “need for breadth of orientation in the educa- 
tion of American youth.” President Lynch is quoting Dr. H.J. Brumbaugh, vice president of 
the American Council of Education; President’s Report to the Board of Trustees of Lebanon 
Valley College, 1950-1951, 1. This concern that students be educated broadly in the liberal 
arts led to an Integrated Studies program in 1951, to distributive requirements replacing 
Integrated Studies in 1965, and to a new assessment of the general education program in 
the early 1980s. 

““‘H.B. Goodrich, R.H. Knapp, and George A.W Boehm, “The Origins of U.S. Scientists,” 
Scientific American, July 1951, 16. 

“""This quotation is from a National Institutes of Health proposal, “Background Information,” 
Lebanon Valley College as a Site for an R15 Area Grant, September 1999, 1. 


61 


"“Gross Awarded Fulbright,” The Quad, February 5, 1983, 3, and “President’s Report 
1977-1978,” LVC Journal, September 1978, 2. 

“Metzger, Reminiscences, 9-10. 

™The information regarding Dr. Bender comes from a June 22, 2007 interview of Dr. FI. 
Anthony “Tony” Neidig ’43, late professor emeritus of chemistry. 


62 


Chapter 9 

A Jumble of Contraries 


What happens outside the classroom can have an athletic field, a dormi- 
tory hallway, a recital hall, or a theater stage as its podium. Campus life is at 
times a jumble of contraries. It can express itself in playful pranks and serious 
enterprises, in new undertakings and ended activities, and in grumbling and 
applause. 

y the 1930s, the men’s dormitory had become a raucous place. Untidi- 
ness was its hallmark. A wanton disregard of propriety and property, not 
playfulness, had made the men’s dormitory a hall of disturbances. The 
Men’s Senate, the student governing body of the dormitory, could not bring 
order to the situation. Something had to be done. On January 8, 1935, the fac- 
ulty, after much discussion, recommended to the Executive Committee and the 
Financial Committee of the College’s Board of Trustees that a member of the 
faculty with a spouse be established as residents of the men’s dormitory' 

Clark Carmean, a member of 
the faculty, came home from the 
January 8 meeting and shared with 
his wife, “They’re having a lot of 
trouble in the men’s dormitory — 
vandalizing it — and it’s in a terrible 
condition, they say. And they’d like 
very much to have somebody living 
in there.” Edna Carmean states, 

“We talked it over and decided we 
would offer to do it.”'' At the Janu- 
ary 22, 1935, faculty meeting. Dr. 
Lynch reported that the Executive 
Committee of the Board of Trustees 
“had acted favorably on our recom- 
mendation” and that Professor and 
Mrs. Carmean would live in the 
men’s dormitory'" 

D. Clark Carmean H’85 
and Edna J. Carmean ’59, H’85 




63 



The Carmean apartment was in the middle of the second floor of the dormi- 
tory. It consisted of two rooms. On one side of the dormitory hallway was their 
living room. Across the hallway was their bedroom with a little bathroom that 
took one corner of the bedroom. Since there was no kitchen, all meals were 
eaten in the College dining room. To move from the bedroom to the living 
room meant entering the hallway shared with the students. 

On their arrival, the Carmeans discovered that every door in every room of the 
dormitory had been kicked in. The excuse given by the male students was that 
they had forgotten their keys. Professor Carmean had the doors repaired and 
a duplicate key made for every room. The keys were placed on a board in his 
closet. Edna Carmean laughingly recalls, 

. . .he announced to the students that he knew that it was very 
frustrating not to be able to get in a room. So if their door was 
locked, all they had to do would be to come to him, and he 
would unlock it for them. And you know there was never a 
door kicked in after that. They were just ashamed they had no 
good reason to do it anymore." 

In September 1936, President Lynch reported to the church conferences, “The 
occupancy of a suite of rooms in the [men’s] dormitory by Professor and Mrs. 
Carmean has transformed dormitory conditions.”^ 

A comparison of the College’s yearbooks from 1934 and 1983 discloses 
the following about the number of campus organizations:" 


Organizations 

1934 

1983 

Greek 

5 

13 

Religious 

3 

3 

Musical 

5 

9 

Clubs 

10 

21 

Athletic Teams 

5 

13 

Publishing 

2 

2 


30 61 


When contrasted to 1934, there was an increased number of groups in 1983 
to which a student could be linked. Campus life in 1983 was more varied and 
extensive than in earlier years. In 1934, there were five athletic teams: football, 
women’s basketball, men’s basketball, baseball, and tennis. By 1983, soccer, field 
hockey, cross country, wrestling, track, golf, and men’s and women’s lacrosse 
had been added. The number of clubs doubled between 1934 and 1983, and 
some organizations significantly changed. 


64 



Student activity dramatically 
increased between 1934 and 1983, 
and many student organizations, such as 
Kappa Lambda Sigma, Delta Lambda Sigma, 
and Knights of The Valley, thrived. 


One of the clubs that existed 
throughout the presidencies of 
Lynch, Miller, and Sample was the 
Green Blotter. The Green Blotter 
commenced in November 1932 
with a membership of 12. Vacan- 
cies in the group were filled on 
the basis of writings submitted to 
the club in open competition. The 
club’s purpose was “to improve 
the writing ability of its members” 


65 



(above): Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA); (below): Student Christian 
Association (SCA) 



66 




and “stimulate literary activity on campus.”™ It sponsored a poetry contest that 
was open to all students and a supplement to La Vie Collegienne of student 
poems and essays. The Green Blotter Club emerged precisely at a time when 
the former literary societies were changing — no longer seeing themselves as 
stimulating literary activity. One of the former literary societies, that came to be 
called Kappa Lambda Sigma, or Kalo, described its transformation in the 1970 
yearbook: 

Ninety-one years ago, the Kalozetean Literary Society for men 
was formed at Lebanon Valley. Fortunately, sometime in the 
early 1930s the boys put down their specs and folios and became 
one of the three existing social fraternities. Nowadays they read 
less, but do more to add to the social life of The Valley.™ 



Annual Freshmen-Sophomore Tug-of-War 


T hey would gather on the banks of the Quittapahilla. The occasion was 
the annual tug-of-war between the freshmen and sophomores. The 
freshmen would tug and strain, because by winning they would rid 
themselves of those hated white dinks and bring their hazing to an end. The 
upperclassmen would yank and grimace as they sought to keep the yearlings in 
place. Each would pull and pull and pull until the loser, wet and muddied, was 
vanquished.™ 

The annual tug-of-war was but one of the social events that were part of cam- 
pus life. Dances, Homecoming, May Day, the Christmas banquet, occasional 
movies, and the Spring Arts Festival were all, at some point, on the College’s 
social calendar. There were concerts and productions that brought artists to the 
campus: the Julliard String Quartet, The National Classic Theater, and The Let- 
termen in a Kalo-sponsored event.* There were dramatic productions. In 1957, 
Wig and Buckle presented Antigone and Gammer Gurtons Needle. In 1983, it 
was Gabaret, The Pajama Game, and Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap. There were 


67 





The 1952-1953 Men’s Basketball Team 


convocation programs that presented outstanding lecturers: Norman Cous- 
ins, editor of the Saturday Review; William Colby, a former CIA director; civil 
rights leaders Martin Luther King Sr., Ralph Abernathy, and Julian Bond; and 
William Rusher, publisher of the National Review.” 

Athletic events were an important component of student life. A notable athletic 
event involved the 1953 men’s basketball team. It was a team that had little 
height. Seven men were the heart of the squad: Richie Furda ’53, Leon Miller 
’53, Bill Vought ’53, Howie Landa ’55, Herb Fields ’54, Lou Sorrentino ’54, and 
Don Grider ’58. The coach, George “Rinso” Marquette ’48, was in his first year 
at the helm of a college team. The season began with an 85-56 victory over 
Mount St. Mary’s. The team went on to compile a season record of 19 wins and 
only one loss. After an important win against Franklin & Marshall, LVC was 
invited to the NCAA Tournament. Since there was no Division III at that time, 
LVC would compete against “big-time” schools with massive scholarship funds. 

On March 10, at Philadelphia’s famed Palestra, the tournament began for the 
Lebanon Valley Dutchmen. Their opponent was “an overconfident Fordham 
Rams.” Because of NCAA rules that made freshmen and fourth-year varsity 
athletes ineligible for tournament play, Richie Furda and Don Grider were 
unable to compete. Despite this, Lebanon Valley College defeated the taller 
Fordham team, 80-67. The victory put the Dutchmen into the NCAA regional 
at Raleigh, North Carolina. 


68 


The cry “On to Raleigh” was sounded across the LVC campus. A number of stu- 
dents converged on Raleigh to root for the team. The cheerleaders were there, 
as was the German band, supplemented by some alumni with their pep band 
music and straw hats. The opponent was Louisiana State University, with its 
6-foot, 9-inch All-American center and future NBA star. Bob Pettit. The “seven 
dwarfs,” a nickname given to the LVC players, gave the taller LSU Tigers a scare 
through three quarters. In the final quarter, the Dutchmen came within four 
points of taking the lead before bowing to Louisiana States superior height, 89- 
76. The next night, a tired Dutchmen team lost the consolation game to Wake 
Forest.™ 

Thus ended Lebanon Valley College’s storybook season. It was a season, as de- 
scribed in the 1954 College yearbook, which “saw a small unheralded school... 
battle court titans in a national tournament... [and in so doing] captured the 
imagination of the nation.”™ 

I n 1935, an editorial in La Vie Collegienne lamented that “students pre- 
fer to go home week-ends.” It was noted that there is no suitable place in 
Annville or on campus “where a group of young folk can meet or enjoy 
themselves....”™ Forty- four years later, a similar lament was voiced. An editorial in 
The Quad declared, “It’s hard to believe only three weekends have gone by and 
already people are moaning that there is nothing to do around here... [There is] 
a social life problem.”™ 

How could there have been “a social life problem” when the College’s social 
calendar of events was extensive and expanding? A perceptive 1969 editorial in 
La Vie Collegienne hints at a way of untangling the jumble of contraries in which 
there is “nothing to do” and yet an expanding social calendar. The editorial suggested 
that there is a difference between social events and a social life. It asserted that 
“Lebanon Valley offers social events but no real social life.” It acknowledged 
that there are concerts, theater productions, and athletic events but then added: 

[There is] no backdrop of casual mixed activities to keep the 
larger events in perspective. Other than the dining hall, there 
are no really neutral places to meet, places where students can 
relax and be themselves: Annville is barren after ten o’clock; 
the women’s lounges are too much like the parlor of a strange 
family; and Carnegie is treated as an extension of the women’s 
lounges.™' 

The desire for places to meet, perhaps after an event, where students could relax 
and enjoy themselves did at times place the students at variance with those in 
authority. In 1969, the tension was over a chapel having been built and not a 


69 


student center, with no real prospect of such a center being constructed in the 
immediate future.™ By the early 1980s, the social life issue focused on the now 
built college center being more accessible, dormitory visitation regulations, and 
the school’s alcohol policy. Though the alcohol policy did not change, the col- 
lege center hours were extended and visitation rules were broadened. But there 
was still a need for more adequate spaces where students could socialize and 
enjoy themselves. 

In 1980, an editorial in The Quad made a thoughtful proposal. Create “a cam- 
pus pub” with “food, music, and even a wide-screen television featuring sports or 
movies....” The pub, the proposal declared, should provide a casual atmosphere 
where people can talk and dance with the stipulation that no alcohol be served. 
The proposal acknowledged that there are those who believe that “a good time 
and booze” are synonyms. It suggested that such students ought to readjust 
their thinking “on just what it takes to have a good time.” The proposal con- 
cluded: “...if the students had a non-alcoholic pub on campus where they could 
relax without curfews and restrictions, perhaps the weekdays and maybe even 
the weekends would prove to be a little more entertaining, stimulating and 
uninhibiting.”™' Such a nonalcoholic pub, called The Underground, became a 
reality during the 1985-1986 academic year. 


T he morning chapel service was disrupted. Strange sounds came from 

the chandeliers. Someone had placed alarm clocks in them. In the early 
1940s, there was a compulsory chapel service five days a week. Among 
students, there was a general dissatisfaction with the system of compulsory 
daily attendance. This dissatisfaction expressed itself in alarm clock pranks and 
the mysterious disappearance of hymnals.™ 


Pranks and playful traditions were part of student life. On February 9, 1961, 
mischievousness was afoot as snow blanketed the campus. In the article “Bar- 
baric Hoards Barricade Valley’s Seat of Learning,” La Vie Collegienne reported, 
“[With] the pale glow from a nearly full moon [bathing] the campus in flicker- 
ing light,” a cadre of 40 to 50 students moved toward the Administration Build- 
ing. When their work was completed, the doors of the Administration Building 
had been barricaded by snow. When morning arrived, hundreds of students 
stood in a cold grey mist, hoping to be “deprived of their precious classes.” 

They soon learned that “a little snow would not be allowed to deter the learn- 
ing process.” Classes were convened “in unlikely places as the snack bar and 
South Hall.”'“ The tradition of forming bucket brigades to snow in all entrances 
to classroom buildings returned in 1983. More than 300 students piled snow 
against the entrances to all academic buildings. Buckets of water were then 
splashed over the mountains of snow to ice them. But, alas, as in 1961, classes 
were not cancelled, though The Quad reported that the snow-in was the best 


70 



1961 “Snow Barricade” 


attended campus activity in years.™ 

Not all pranks were regarded as playful by administrators. As a part of an ac- 
celerated learning program to help students during World War II to complete 
their coursework before being drafted into the military, President Lynch 
announced that there would be classes on New Year’s Day, 1943. Students 
were so unhappy that on New Year’s Eve they made the locks inoperable to the 
entrances of the classroom buildings. Classes were cancelled. The following 
notice was then placed on the College’s bulletin board on January 1, 1943:™' 

Notice 

For the purpose of showing displeasure... with our accelerated 
program, related to the war effort, certain saboteurs damaged 
irreplaceable college property last night, trying to prevent 
loyal students from attending classes. 

These depredations place the guilty parties in a most unenvi- 
able light; they deserve the extreme displeasure and rebuke 
of all patriotic students. These willful revenge -seekers are 
helping Hitler and his gang to impede our progress, and their 
continuance in the College is due to the fact that, like other 


71 



saboteurs, they usually work in the dark. 

It is the patriotic duty of all loyal students to furnish me with 
any information which may lead to the exposure and expul- 
sion of these unpatriotic students.... 

Being responsible for the protection of the college property, I 
am obliged to order the suspension of all social functions in 
the Administration Building until further notice... Just as soon 
as these contemptible Hitlerites are exposed and dismissed 
from college, social functions may again be resumed in the 
Administration Building. 

Clyde A. Lynch 

The culprits of the New Year’s Eve prank were never apprehended. Rumor has it 
that the leaders of almost every student organization were involved. 


72 


Chapter 9 Endnotes 

' Faculty Minutes, January 8, 1935. 

"The information regarding the Carmeans comes from the College’s oral history project; 
Edna Carmean Interview, 21. 

Faculty Minutes, January 22, 1935. 

"Edna Carmean Interview, 23. 

'Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1936, 28. 

"The information regarding organizations comes from The Quittapahilla 1934 and The Quit- 
tapahilla 1983. The information regarding 1983 musical groups comes from the Catalogue, 
1982-1983, 10. 

'''The Quittapahilla 1934, 129. 

""Quittie 1970, 147. 

““Homecoming Day Entertainment Features Tug-of-War, Sports, Play, and Dance,” La Vie 
Collegienne, October 21, 1955, 1, 3; “Doug Ross ’60 Recounts the Traditional Tug-of-War,” 
and “White Hats,” TheL Online, Traditions: Now and Then, August 17, 2007. 

*The information regarding artists comes from La Vie Collegienne of October 25, 1957, 4; 
September 29, 1966, 1; and April 19, 1951, 1. 

"“Dr. Cousins Lectures in LV Artist Series,” La Vie Collegienne, March 7, 1963, 1, and Cata- 
logue, 1982-1983, 10. 

“The information regarding the 1953 men’s basketball team comes from these sources: 
“Louisiana State Eliminates Lebanon Valley” and “Flyin’ High,” La Vie Collegienne, March 
20, 1953, 1-2; The Quittapahilla 1954, 134-143. For a fuUer telling of the story of the 1953 
team, see Arthur L. Ford, Cinderella and the Seven Dwarfs (Linglestown, Pa.: Continuum 
Communication, 2007). 

""The Quittapahilla 1954, 141. 

"''“Vox Populi,” La Vie Collegienne, December 19, 1935, 2. 

““Editorial, LVC Social Life: Is it Extinct?”, The Quad, September 26, 1980, 2. 

™“LVC & Co-Education,” La Vie Collegienne, October 3, 1969, 2. 

™“LVC & Co-Education,” La Vie Collegienne, 2. 

"""“Editorial, LVC Social Life: Is it Extinct?”, The Quad, 2. 

“The chapel service pranks are a recollection of Dr. “Tony” Neidig, who matriculated at 
Lebanon Valley College from 1939-1943. 

"“Barbaric Hoards Barricade Valley’s Seat of Learning,” La Vie Collegienne, February 9, 
1961,4. 

"““Operation Shutdown Turns to Meltdown,” The Quad, February 18, 1983, 1-2. 

"“The notice comes from the files of Dr. Tony Neidig. 


73 




Academic Quad j" i 

i 


Neidig-Garber Science Ctr 

Arnold Art Gallery 
Zimmerman Recital Hall 
Lynch Memorial Hall 

^ I 

Blair Music Ctr 
Miller Chapel 

Admission 
Bishop Library 
Admin Bldg/Humanities Ctr 
Main Street Annville 





• « • I* 



The Academic Quad of Lebanon Valley College 


1983-2016: 

A Mature Institution 


Chapter lo 
Renaissance 


The story of Lebanon Valley College is the story of a College that began with a 
less than promising future and through many of its days struggled to stay open 
and alive. But it is also a story of renaissance — of grand moments throughout 
its history that were fostered by dedicated teachers, administrators, and pa- 
trons. It is a reminder that here and there in the world, and now and then in the 
journey, is surprising new life. 

The renaissance about to be described is a tale of a college growing up and 
becoming a mature institution of excellence. The central figure in this renais- 
sance is John A. Synodinos H’96. To capture the wonder of what happened, it is 
necessary to understand what was occurring prior to his becoming part of the 
Lebanon Valley College story. 


1 984 was not the best of times for the College. Enrollment had steadily de- 
clined for 10 years. The number of full-time students 
in that period decreased 24.5 percent. The future 
looked no better. In the coming decade, a diminishing 
number of high school graduates was forecast. This would 
make it even harder to end the decline in enrollment.' 

The challenges of such a time did not deter Dr. Arthur L. 

Peterson from becoming the Colleges 14th president on 
March 1, 1984. Peterson was a graduate of Yale University 
(A.B.) and the University of Minnesota (Ph.D.). 

Before coming to LVC, he had been the dean of 
special programs at Eckerd College. 



Arthur L. Peterson, Ph.D., H.D.L., 
President, 1984-1987 


His Strategy for solving the enrollment problem had three components. First, 
Lebanon Valley College would become the leadership college of America." 
Peterson wrote to a friend, “My aim here is to reposition the College as Amer- 
ica’s Leadership College’ so that we can develop a distinct identity in order to 
secure a better share in a declining market.”'" Secondly, the academic program 
would be broadened to attract new students.''' Thirdly, a long-needed sports 
center, that would enhance student morale and draw new students, would be 
built. 


75 


In the fall of 1985, before the three-fold plan could be fully implemented, 
there was a further drop in enrollment. In 1984, there were 795 full-time day 
students. The number declined to 759 by 1985. More significantly, there was a 
decline of 53 entering students from the previous year. Of those enrolled in the 
fall of 1985, only 605 were residential students at a time when 796 beds were 
available at the College, resulting in a significant loss of revenue.'' 

On Oct. 19, 1985, the trustees responded to this bleak picture by asking the 
president and the dean of the faculty to commission a study of the academic 
and administrative departments. Particular consideration was to be given to 
the reduction of the number of majors offered and an increase in the num- 
ber of students per faculty member. On May 9, 1986, the study was presented 
to the trustees. It indicated possible ways to eliminate certain majors and to 
increase the student-to-faculty ratio.'' The study included a strong caution. It 
stated, “While it is probably possible for the College to make further faculty 
and staff reductions, these reductions will have effects on the nature of the 
institution....”''' 

The idea of a “critical mass below which no college can function as a liberal arts 
institution” was noted in the study. Future projections indicated that over the 
next 10 years there would be a 20 percent decline of high school graduates. If 
Lebanon Valley College’s enrollment over the next seven years paralleled the 
demographic decline, as it had from 1980 through 1985, enrollment, stated the 
study, would be at 600 students. It was clear that the key to the College’s future 
was increasing enrollment and not in reducing majors, staff, and faculty'''' 



Edward H. Arnold Sports Center, Heilman Center, 
and Louis A. Sorrentino ’54 Gymnasium 


76 



1986 saw 271 new students enrolled. This represented a 16 percent increase 
over the previous year.“ In April 1987, construction began on the Edward H. 
Arnold Sports Center for student recreational and intramural activities.* All of 
this was encouraging, but the viability of the College was still in question. In 
February 1987, President Peterson, whose enthusiasm and friendliness en- 
deared him to students, announced that he was having heart-related medical 
problems and due to this, he stated, “I regret, deeply, that... I must soon pass the 
leadership torch [of the college] to other, stronger hands. My early retirement 
will occur this summer.”” 


A fter President Petersons announcement, the trustees authorized a com- 
mittee to search for a president. It was expected that the new president 
would begin Sept. 1, 1987. There were more than 100 applicants. The 
field was narrowed, but the person chosen declined the invitation. At this point. 
Dr. William J. McGill, vice president and dean of the faculty, became the Col- 
lege’s acting president. The search committee proceeded to hire John A. Synodi- 
nos, a consultant, to help locate and screen potential candidates. 

Synodinos had been an assistant to Dr. Milton Eisen- 
hower at Johns Hopkins University and in 1984 ended a 
16-year career as an administrator at Franklin & Marshall 
College, where he had been vice president of develop- 
ment. On leaving Franklin & Marshall, Synodinos and 
his wife, Glenda, began a consulting business, because 
people were coming to them for advice.™ Synodinos and 
Associates was created. By the time Lebanon Valley Col- 
lege sought the firm’s services, it had assisted 32 
colleges in finding presidents or vice presidents, John A. Synodinos, 

in conducting fundraising, and in assessing edu- President, 1988-1996 

rational programs. 

Synodinos and Associates found the Lebanon Valley College search tougher 
than most. Several candidates turned down offers from the College. In the 
meantime, Synodinos began to appreciate the school’s strengths. In an inter- 
view for The Chronicle of Higher Education, he described those strengths as 
the College’s “friendliness, its lack of pretense, its dedication to students who 
might not have traveled widely” or who came from families whose parents were 
not college graduates.™' The search committee in turn came to appreciate their 
consultant’s energy, his analytical mind, and his ability to leap over issues and 
see possibilities; so they offered him the job as president. 

“I didn’t actually apply for the job,” Synodinos told a reporter.”'' It was not his 
intention to become the College’s president, but the committee kept offering 



77 


him the position. Eventually, he accepted. Reflecting on that acceptance, he de- 
clared, “I never thought Id have a job like this.... What a gift!”^ On July 1, 1988, 
John A. Synodinos began his tenure as the 15th president of Lebanon Valley 
College. 

O n his first day as president, Synodinos found a library that was dilapi- 
dated, shrubs that were overgrown, a building with a hole in its roof, 
and an entrance to the campus that was easily missed and unattractive. 
Prospective students who came to visit often did not even get out of their cars.™ 

Synodinos realized that the College was slowly starving to death. A dire fore- 
cast of the Colleges future loomed large. The key to viability, as Synodinos saw 
it, would not be cutting faculty or a “make do” attitude. He recognized that 
viability required growth in enrollment. For Synodinos, attracting a grow- 
ing number of students during a time when fewer high school graduates were 
available™' required a renovation of existing buildings, beautifying the campus, 
strengthening the academic program, rethinking admissions policies, and rei- 
maging how the College advertised itself 

At his inauguration, one speaker declared, “In selecting John Synodinos to be 
your president, you have chosen to ride a tiger.”'"“ It was to be quite a whirl- 
wind ride, in that Synodinos chose with tiger-like agility and fierceness to 
attack the renovating and strengthening and rethinking all at once. 

W ith the instinct of a born marketer, Synodinos sensed that there was 
a need “to improve the college’s attractiveness and visibility....”™ 
Overgrown shrubs were cut back or removed. Buildings had their 
brick exteriors pointed and cleaned. Flowers were planted. An attractive web of 
walkways was created for the Academic Quad. 

To create a more appealing streetscape and better visibility of the College along 
White Oak Street (Route 934), a gateway entrance to the College was built at 
Sheridan Avenue, an old knitting mill was torn down for landscaped parking, 
a new front was put on the west facade of Clyde A. Lynch Memorial Hall, and 
the church building that the College had owned since 1971 received a much 
needed “facelift.”™ No longer would a potential student fail to get out of the car 
because of an unattractive campus. 

Attractiveness and visibility were not the only considerations in the renewal of 
the campus. Because enhancing the academic program and enriching student 
life were of paramount importance, the main dining haU of the College was 
redesigned, two dormitories were refurbished, alterations were made to Bertha 


78 



The Vernon and Doris Bishop Library, 
as viewed from near the Cuewe-Pehelle statue. 


Brossman Blair Music Center, and quality academic space was created on the 
main floor of Clyde A. Lynch Memorial Hall. Other projects included an all- 
weather track around the football held, an upgrade of selected offices and class- 
rooms in the Administration Building/Humanities Center, major new pieces 
of scientiflc equipment, and a new telephone system with cable and data lines. 
This first wave of campus development was funded by a bond issue and gifts.™ 


The next phase included new landscaping of the Social Quad, the transforma- 
tion of the former St. Paul’s Lutheran Church building (on White Oak Street) 
into the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery and Zimmerman Recital Hall, and the 
building of a new library. In 1991, the Towards 2001 campaign was launched. 
This fundraising effort sought $21 million. In actuality, nearly $24 million was 
pledged.™* The centerpiece of Towards 2001 was the building of a new library. 

It was to be a state-of-the-art library with a collection of information, via an 
electronic network, that would allow students and faculty to access — from the 
library, their offices, and dorm rooms — information from around the world.™ 
In January 1996, the Vernon and Doris Bishop Library opened with its mag- 
nificent atrium, golden oak woodwork, and abundance of windows and natural 
light. 


79 


T hough campus beautification with new and refurbished buildings would 
play a role in increasing enrollment, Synodinos realized that they would 
not be sufficient to reverse enrollment decline. Ideas came easily to 
John Synodinos. In fact, every day seemed to bring some new and fresh gem 
of an action that could be taken. On a 1991 summer day, Greg Stanson ’63 and 
WiUiam Brown ’79, who were responsible for enrollment, were called to the 
President’s Office. “Why not reward achievement?” asked Synodinos. With this 
comment, he laid an enrollment proposal before his colleagues. He suggested 
that students who ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school graduation 
class would pay only half of the normal Lebanon Valley College tuition. Those 
in the second 10 percent would pay only two-thirds, and those in the next 10 
percent would pay just three-quarters. This was to be a scholarship program 
that recognized academic excellence, regardless of financial need. 

As Stanson listened, he smiled — almost laughed. He remembered an earlier 
time when he stood in the President’s Office, a day when Synodinos forcefully 
announced that he was opposed to merit scholarships. “Such scholarships,” 
he declared, “were a way of buying students. Scholarships should be based on 
need.” With this new proposal, Synodinos was making an abrupt departure 
from his earlier policy. Ever the pragmatist, Synodinos, out of necessity, had 
dramatically pivoted 180 degrees when he saw that continuing with the same 
scholarship policy would not sustain growth. 

Synodinos had been thinking about the issue of enrollment for three years. He 
was convinced that students had no incentive to work very hard in high school. 
There was always some college that would accept you regardless of your grades. 
It was time, he felt, to give a clear incentive “to get an A.” In a Washington Post 
interview, Synodinos observed, “We need to put goals in front of people.”™ It 
also had become apparent to him that tuition at private colleges, like LVC, was 
moving outside the reach of the poor, as well as the middle class. He saw the 
achievement-based program that he was proposing as making a private, liberal 
arts school within a price range that was affordable to middle-class families.™ 

In 1992, after much discussion and with the approval of the trustees, the 
achievement-based scholarship program was initiated. It was hoped that the 
program would attract more academically talented students. It did.™ It was 
hoped that full-time undergraduate enrollment would increase. It increased 
sharply, providing additional income. In the first year under the new program 
(1992) the fall entering class numbered 334 students, an increase of 95 students 
over the 1991 class. After five years of the program, enrollment had grown from 
812 to 1,182 — an increase of 45 percent. Moreover, the growth seemed sustain- 
able, because once students came to the College, they found that the quality 
of the education offered and the sweeping improvements to the grounds and 
buildings heralded a first-rate institution. 


80 


C hange permeated the Lebanon Valley campus — change that went far 
beyond additional students and improved facilities. When Synodinos 
arrived in 1988, there was a “sameness” to the students. They were, said 
The Valley, “quintessentially American in their appearance, speech and dress....” 
They came from small towns and rural communities, had never been far from 
home, and shared a surprisingly similar view of life.™' 


That “sameness” began to change. Dr. Arthur 
Ford ’59, associate academic dean, recruited 
a growing number of international stu- 
dents.™" Five years into the Synodinos 
presidency, there were 19 international 
students studying at the College coming 
from, among other countries, Malaysia, 
Japan, Zaire, Tibet, Sierra Leone, Serbia, 
and Honduras. They brought diverse ex- 
periences. About a third had lived in more 
than one country before coming to the 
College and spoke several languages.™ 

The student body was becoming more 
heterogeneous, and so was the curricu- 
lum. Opportunities increased for students 
to study abroad. The College’s new set of 
general education requirements included 
an area of foreign studies. Visiting profes- 
sors from Japan, Poland, and China came 
to teach.™ The goal, for Synodinos, was 
to broaden students’ horizons and equip 
them “to live, work, and succeed in an 
increasingly international world.”™ 

Change was evident in other ways. There 
was a new student residential policy, 
faculty salaries moved from the fourth to 
the second quintile in a national rank- 
ing system, an adult education program 
opened in Lancaster, an M.B.A. program 
was added, and there was a rebirth of the 
arts on campus. 



(above): Magda Jura ’01 and (below): 
Natalia Antelava ’02 were two of the 
more than 100 students from 45 countries 
who attended LVC during the Synodinos 
presidency. 



With the rebirth of the arts, in the summer of 1994, came the opening of the 
Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery and the Zimmerman Recital Hall. A full-time 
art historian was hired as director of the Gallery. The recital hall, with its 


81 



wonderful acoustics, became another venue for concerts, particularly chamber 
music and student recitals. The Leedy Theater was renovated, original art was 
commissioned for the campus, and an agreement with the Pennsylvania School 
of Art and Design paved the way for a number of faculty and students of that 
school to come to campus.™ 



1993-1994 Men’s Basketball Team: It was the College’s first national championship team, 

winning the NCAA National Championship in 1994. 


The College was now fielding some winning athletic programs. The women’s 
field hockey team regularly competed in the Middle Atlantic Conference title 
game and entered the NCAA playoffs. In 1994, the men’s basketball team, after 
capturing the MAC title, advanced in the NCAA playoff to the Final Four. 

In Buffalo, New York, they defeated number-one-ranked Wittenberg in 
overtime. The next night, with eight busloads of loyal fans cheering them on, 
Lebanon VaUey College, with an enrollment of 1,053 students, took on New 
York University, which had 49,000 students, in the championship game. “In 
a game billed as a battle between David and Goliath, the Dutchmen won the 
national Division III championship, 66 to 59....”™' 

T here is often an allergic reaction to change — an annoyance that things 
are not what they once were. Yet the changes that occurred during the 
Synodinos presidency were welcomed. One reason for this was that they 
were perceived as strengthening the College. Another reason for the ease with 
which the changes were implemented involved Synodinos’ style of problem- 
solving. It was a style that made negative responses less likely and was apparent 
in 1989, when the trustees veered from familiar organizational practices. 


82 



Synodinos inherited a Board of Trustees that by 1989 numbered 58 voting 
members, of whom 32 were representative of college constituencies (Eastern 
Pennsylvania and Central Pennsylvania Conferences of The United Method- 
ist Church, faculty, students).™'' Because of its size, the board was unwieldy. 
Trustees were often only tangentially involved. There were occasions when a 
trustee seemed more a partisan for a constituency than a steward of the Col- 
lege. The president recognized the need for change and challenged the commit- 
tee on board membership to examine the issue of board governance. 

The committee reviewed the situation. The review led to the hiring of Green- 
fteld Associates, a consulting firm, to help the board examine governance is- 
sues. A team from Greenfield interviewed 21 trustees, analyzed questionnaires 
sent to every trustee, led a board retreat, and presented recommendations 
to the committee on membership. The committee then recommended to the 
board that the number of voting trustees be reduced to a range of 24 to 31, and 
that all members of the board be trustees at-large, who are stewards of the Col- 
lege and not representatives of constituencies. These recommendations were 
approved by the board.™ 

By 1991, there were 31 voting trustees. The downsizing had taken place with a 
minimum of rancor. This was because the president, who had initiated the idea 
of a different kind of board, provided encouragement and space for a smaller 
working board to become the idea of everyone. 

I n a letter dated Oct. 30, 1995, President Synodinos announced to the Col- 
lege community that he would inform the trustees at their fall meeting of 
his plan to retire “at the end of June 1996 or as soon thereafter as a succes- 
sor is elected.” In the letter, he spoke of the eight years of his association with 
the College as being “among the best years of [my life] .” He noted that the Col- 
lege “has grown and prospered.” 

Growth and prosperity were evident at the last graduation over which he 
presided. Hundreds of parents, grandparents, and friends gathered under two 
tents on the Academic Quad. They watched as a beaming president handed out 
340 diplomas to the sons and daughters of farmers, nurses, lawyers, teachers, 
machinists, and waitresses. The accomplishments of the graduates, the size of 
the graduating class, and the ambience of the setting bespoke a college that was 
thriving. No longer was the primary concern that of keeping the College open 
and alive, as when President Synodinos first arrived at Annville. Lebanon Val- 
ley College was growing into a mature institution of excellence. 


83 


Chapter lo Endnotes 

'A Study of the Structures of the Academic and Administrative Departments, 1986, 4. 

“To further Lebanon Valley College’s goal of becoming America’s leadership college, the 
following steps were taken: the scholarship program was expanded to include leadership 
as a basis for awards; a Leadership Studies Program was established; Presidential Leader- 
ship Award recipients were expected to take four courses in Leadership Studies; a course in 
leadership was added to the general education requirements for all students; and a Leader- 
ship Development Institute was created to provide seminars on management development 
for middle and top managers. Catalog, 1987-1989, 23-25; Steve TrapneU, “A Liberal Arts 
Innovation,” Quittapahilla 1987, 42; Dawn Humphrey, “Interview With Dr. Peterson,” The 
Valley, Fall 1984, 4. 

'“April 22, 1986, letter to Mr. Lawrence A. Appley. 

■''The 1985 strategic plan approved “nine new programs ranging from a master of business 
administration degree to associates degrees in travel and food- service administration.” 

To attract the older student, evening and weekend College offerings were to be expanded, 
early evening courses introduced, and alternative class sites explored. “LVC OK’s Six- Year 
Strategy,” Lefofl«o« Daily News, February 26, 1984, 12. 

" Christopher Craig ’88, “Enrollment Stats Are Examined,” The Quad, February 13, 1986, 4. 

"Lebanon Valley had the lowest ratio, 1 1.3 to 1, of the eight area liberal arts colleges with 
which it was compared. These colleges had a 16 to 1 ratio. A Study of the Structures of the 
Academic and Administrative Departments proposed raising the ratio to 13.5 to 1. 

™A Study of the Structures of the Academic and Administrative Departments, 8. 

"“A commission was formed by the president on May 30, 1986. As A Study of the Structure of 
the Academic and Administrative Departments was to examine faculty and curriculum mat- 
ters, the commission was to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of all administrative 
offices of the College, with the exception of the Office of the President. The report of the 
commission stated bluntly what was implied in A Study of the Structure of the Academic and 
Administrative Departments, namely that the key to viability was enrollment. 

"‘Barry Kohlepsky, “LVC Enrollment Picture,” The Quad, September 18, 1986, 7. 

“For information on the April 21, 1987, groundbreaking celebration for the Edward H. 
Arnold Sports Center, see Dawn Greene, “The Edward H. Arnold Sports Center Opens Its 
Doors,” The Valley, Fall 1988, 2-5. 

"Memo dated February 10, 1987. 

Sandy Marrone, “John Synodinos, Educator par Excellence,” Central Pennsylvania’s Ap- 
prise, May 1996, 45. 

"“Lawrence BiemUler, “Notes From Academe,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 31, 
1996, 43. 

Jasmine Ammons ’97, M’l 1, “President Synodinos Announces His Retirement Plans,” 

La Vie Collegienne, November 8, 1995, 1. 


84 


"Marrone, Central Pennsylvania’s Apprise, 45. 

™The information regarding students not getting out of their cars is from an interview with 
Gregory Stanson ’63, June 18, 2007. 

™The number of high school graduates in Pennsylvania was expected to steadily decrease 
from 136,016 (1988-1989) to 113,472 (1995-1996). No increase in graduates was projected 
until 1996-1997. See High School Graduates: Projections for the Fifty States (A joint publica- 
tion of Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, Teachers Insurance and 
Annuity Association, The College Board), 26-27. 

™“Dr. Richard P. Traina, president of Clark University and a longtime friend, made this 
comment in a speech at Synodinos’ inauguration. 

“M.J. Bishop ’84, “A New Campus Plan: Meeting Tomorrow’s Challenges,” The Valley, Fall 
1989, 3. 

“For information regarding landscaping and the renovations along Rt. 934, see Bishop, “A 
New Campus Plan,” The Valley, 2-3. 

“Useful descriptions of Phase One of the campus renewal program include Jeimifer McMahon, 
“Lynch Renovated and Rededicated,” La Vie Collegienne, October 4, 1990, 1; John M. Baer, 
“The Man Behind the Momentum,” The Valley, Fall 1993, 3; A letter from the Office of the 
President to parents, February 1, 1989. 

““The amount raised, as of the final report of July 10, 1996, was $23,943,651. The money was 
designated for annual giving, endowment, and capital improvements (facilities and equip- 
ment). 

““For a detailed description of the new library, see Judy Pehrson, “On-line to the Future,” 
The Valley, Spring 1996, 15-19; and “Coming: Library of the Future,” The Valley, Winter 
1993, 33. 

“''“Incentives to Get an A,” The Washington Post, April 5, 1992. 

“Synodinos’ desire to make tuition affordable is described in Baer’s, “The Man Behind the 
Momentum,” The Valley, 5. 

“‘The class rank of graduating high school students admitted to Lebanon Valley College in 
1991 and 1992 reveals the following: those who ranked in the top 10 percent of their class: 

1991 (47 students), 1992 (76 students); those in the second decile of their class: 1991 (28 
students), 1992 (60 students); those in the third decile of their class: 1991 (21 students), 

1992 (41 students). 

““Judy Pehrson, “Going Global,” The Valley, Spring/Summer 1993, 2-3. 

“‘“Though not in the same numbers, international students had studied at Lebanon Valley 
before 1988. For example, during the Lynch years, Thomas Caulker from Sierra Leone and 
Kenjuro Ikeda from Japan had been students. There had been a Sierra Leone and Japanese 
connection with the College over the years. In 1975, the College opened its doors to 12 
Vietnamese refugees as students. 

““Laura Chandler Ritter, “Passport to Annville,” The Valley, Spring/Summer 1993, 4. 


85 


“A more complete picture of the international initiative can be found in The Valley, Spring/ 
Summer 1993, 2-21. 

™Pehrson, “Going Global, The Valley, 2. 

Judy Pehrson, “The Arts Move Center Stage,” The Valley, Fall 1994, 2-1 . 

Annual Report 1993-1994, 3; La Vie Collegienne, March 23, 1944, 4-10. 

“"''Twelve trustees were nominated by the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United 
Methodist Church, 12 were nominated by the Central Pennsylvania Conference of The 
United Methodist Church, five were nominated by the faculty, and three were nominated 
from the student body. 

““The information regarding the downsizing of the Board of Trustees comes from Minutes 
of the Committee on Board Membership, October 7, 1988, 1; Minutes Presidents Cabinet, 
April 3, 1989, 2; Recommendations of the Board Membership Committee, 1-3. 


86 


Chapter ii 
Looking to Grow 


B reathtaking change had been a signature of the Synodinos years. The 

College had been moving at a sprinter’s pace, but such a pace can only be 
sustained for so long. By 1996, Lebanon Valley College was moving more 
slowly as it savored its recent accomplishments. A deliberate pace, rather than 
a jaunty one, was evident when a slow-growth strategy, by which enrollment 
would grow one percent annually, was established in 1995. ‘ 


A national search for a new president to succeed Synodinos attracted 

more than 140 candidates. Among the three finalists was Dr. G. David 

Pollick, who had been the co-chief executive of- 

ficer and president of the Art Institute of Chicago and the 
School of the Art Institute of Chicago. When interviewed 
by the presidential search committee, Pollick was asked if 
he was comfortable with the College’s strategic plan that 
benchmarked an annual one percent enrollment growth. 

Pollick emphatically answered, “No!”“ He then presented 
a set of reasons for moving away from a slow-growth 
strategy. On May 18, 1996, the College’s Board of Trust- 
ees unanimously elected David Pollick to the 
College’s presidency. It did so with at least the 
leadership of the board sensing that a sprinter’s 
pace was soon to resume. 



G. David Pollick, Ph.D., 
President, 1996-2004 


Once he became president, Pollick began to make the case for increasing en- 
rollment projections, asserting that it was required for the long-term financial 
health of the institution and the interests of prospective students. In the paper 
A Case for Growth, he argued that it is necessary in a highly competitive market 
“to continually [improve] the quality of academic programming, facilities, and 
faculty and staff.... He stressed that by increasing the number of students, the 
College’s income would grow and the need to improve quality could be ad- 
dressed. 


Pollick also argued that the “number of prospective students interested in at- 
tending a college with 1000 traditional students is limited....”" He suggested that 
students would see an increased enrollment in the 1,500-1,600 range as provid- 


87 



ing “the best of... worlds — more potential relationships, yet a genuinely personal 
environment.”^ He concluded in A Case for Growth that reaching an enrollment 
of 1,500-1,600 students by 2005 would require an “ascending growth rate [of] 
between 3 and 4 percent....”" Pollick asked the trustees to abandon a slow- 
growth model for more robust growth. 

The trustees moved cautiously. On May 17, 1997, they decided to set a target 
of 1,345 full-time students by the year 2000. They also agreed that they needed 
to consider a longer range full-time enrollment target by the year 2005.™ Three 
years later, in 2000, an enrollment target of 1,500-1,600 full-time students by 
2005 was approved.™' The slow-growth strategy of the latter Synodinos years 
had been jettisoned. The strategic choice of Pollick, approved by the trustees, 
set in motion a whirlwind of activity. 

P ollick was not afraid of risk as he sought to brand Lebanon Valley Col- 
lege as an attractive option for students. His plan for attracting students 
in increasing numbers required new academic offerings, an expansion 
of extracurricular activities, and campus revitalization. Pollick recognized the 
symbiotic connection of enrollment with physical surroundings and programming. 

The Physical Therapy Program was a new academic offering. It was to be a five- 
year, masters level course of study — the only one in South Central Pennsylva- 
nia. It was expected to attract, when fully implemented, up to 200 students who 
would not otherwise choose Lebanon Valley College. Pollick presented the idea 
to the faculty’s curriculum committee and to other faculty who were primar- 
ily from the sciences. He told them that a physical therapy major would be a 
natural outgrowth of the College’s commitment to the sciences. He added that 
students had asked LVC to offer this program.™ 



Physical therapy students 
gain hands-on experience 
working with student- 
athletes, such as Darryl 
Sweeper ’15, and certified 
athletic trainers, such as 
Megan Streisel. 


88 


Much was at stake in launching a physical therapy major. There were other 
academic offerings introduced during the Pollick presidency that involved little 
riskd but the physical therapy initiative was different. Not only did students 
need to be recruited, a director hired, and a program developed, but a modern 
facility would have to be built to house physical therapy classrooms, teaching 
laboratories, offices, a therapy pool, and a fitness center. All of this had to be 
in place before the College could even achieve candidacy in the accreditation 
process. To make the situation even more precarious, admission into candidacy 
and accreditation was not guaranteed. Accreditation would not be known until 
several months before the graduation of the program’s first class. It was as if 
the sword of Damocles, suspended by a single thread, hung over the program 
and students. 

After careful deliberation, the faculty, administration, and trustees determined 
in 1997 that the College would move forward with the development of a mas- 
ter’s level program in physical therapy. To meet the stringent facilities require- 
ments for accreditation, construction of a physical therapy facility, which was 
later named the Heilman Center, began in 1998.” That same year, a program 
director was hired. With the fall 1999 term, the first students arrived as physical 
therapy majors. After submission of the application for candidacy in December 
2000, a team from the accrediting body came to campus and made recommen- 
dations. After addressing the recommendations, the application was resubmit- 
ted. On May 24, 2002, the College was notified that candidacy was denied. 

The physical therapy students and their parents were gravely disappointed at 
this news and understandably anxious as to their alternatives. The program 
staff and the dean of the faculty felt as if the College, by failing to provide an 
accredited program, had reneged on a promise. Throughout the summer, the 
staff and dean met with students and parents. Some students stayed at Lebanon 
VaUey College and changed their major; others were assisted in finding schools 
with accredited programs. 

With the denial of candidacy came the critical decision of whether to abandon 
the program, ask for a reconsideration of the College’s application, or start the 
process over again with a new application for candidacy. It became clear in 
these deliberations that it was a priority to keep faith with the students, donors, 
and families who had committed to the program. With that determined, the 
decision was made — after considering developing trends in the physical therapy 
field — to present a new candidacy application that reconfigured the curriculum 
to a six-year doctoral program.”' 

At this point, the dean of the faculty. Dr. Stephen MacDonald, came to the 
rescue. MacDonald guided the development of the new candidacy application 
during the summer of 2002. For two weeks in November 2002, he lived a re- 


89 


elusive life as he devoted himself entirely to writing the proposal for candidacy. 
On Dec. 1, 2002, the new candidacy application was submitted and six months 
later approved. By 2004, 109 students were enrolled in the physical therapy 
program. 

A year after PoUick’s arrival on campus, the establishment of a men’s ice 
hockey team was set in motion. PoUick, a die-hard fan, saw ice hockey 
as opening the door to student interest from the previously closed prep 
school world and helping to create a more equal balance of male and female 
students. In 1997, arrangements were solidifted for the use of the Hersheypark 
Arena, a coach was hired, and a letter of intent was sent to the Eastern Col- 
lege Athletic Association (ECAC) stating the College’s desire to compete in the 
Northeast Hockey League for the 1998-1999 season.™ 

Midstate Pennsylvania with its rolling farmlands and nearby chocolate factories 
was not exactly ice hockey country. According to The Patriot News, the new 
coach, A1 McCormack, “ignored the long odds of building a strong hockey pro- 
gram in these unlikely environs.”™ He traveled aU over the country recruiting 
players. More than 40 students were recruited from 10 states and two countries 
to vie for a spot on the 26-man roster. One of the recruits remarked, “Last 
year, if you said Lebanon Valley College, nobody would have heard of it....”™ 
The introduction of ice hockey was attracting students who otherwise would 
not have considered the school. 



90 


2014-2015 Men’s Ice Hockey Team: 
Women’s NCAA ice hockey debuted in 2016-201 7. 



For the inaugural season of the sport, a team composed of 23 freshmen, two 
sophomores, and one junior took to the ice. The team began with wins over es- 
tablished Division I club teams from Navy, Drexel, and Lehigh. The season end- 
ed with 16 wins, 8 losses, and 1 tie. The next season, the team earned a berth 
in the ECAC Northeast League playoffs, losing in the quarterfinal. In 2001, 
Lebanon Valley won the Northeast League championship and received a bid to 
the NCAA Division III tournament. The ice hockey program had become suc- 
cessful on the ice and effective in attracting students.™ 

T here is a symbiotic bond between the physical setting of a college and 
enrollment. When students start dreaming of going to college, they 
have a mental picture of what a college looks like. If a campus matches 
or exceeds the students’ expectations, they are more likely to enroll there. 

For Pollick, the question was, “...how do you develop a space that excites the 
students...?”™' 

It was just another meeting. The subject was the location of a new facility for 
the Maintenance Department. The idea was to build it near the residence haUs. 
Pollick had some misgivings. He wanted to know the alternatives. At this point, 
a crash tutorial in College-owned land and neighboring landholdings began 
for the new president. He learned about the 160 acres surrounding Kreider- 
heim that the College owned. He also heard about the 42 acres of farmland 
east of the LVC Sports Center that the College had been trying for many years, 
without success, to acquire. According to The Valley, Pollick suggested, “Go 
back and try one more time.” This try met with success. After several friendly 
discussions, the 42 acres were purchased by the College. Suddenly, there were 
alternatives for placing a maintenance facility and, more importantly, now 
there was available land which, if developed wisely, could excite and attract 
students.™ 

A major campus transformation ensued. The North Campus was developed 
with award-winning baseball, softball, soccer, and field hockey facilities, a 
gymnasium, the Heilman Center, a wetlands biology laboratory, parking for 
750 cars, and the Fasick Bridge for pedestrians spanning State Route 934. The 
changes to South Campus included roadwork upgrading Sheridan Avenue, the 
completion of the Synodinos Peace Garden behind Centre Hall, and the ad- 
dition of Marquette Hall and Dellinger Hall to the Residential Quad. In 2003, 
the conversion of Clyde A. Lynch Memorial Hall from a building that housed 
a gymnasium to a new all-academic structure began. With the completion of 
Clyde A. Lynch, the most ambitious aspect of the building program was to 
begin — a complete redesign of the Garber Science Center. From all of this ac- 
tivity, a more spacious and beautiful campus emerged — one that would attract 
students and facilitate learning. 


91 



Fasick Bridge 


T he myriad of construction projects launched during the Pollick presi- 
dency demanded financial resources. Some of the required capital 
would come from borrowed money and end-of-year surpluses, but these 
financial streams were insufficient. A new financial initiative would need to be 
set in motion. 

The planning for what became the Great Expectations Campaign began in 
1997 XX ii iQ ijg ^ comprehensive undertaking to provide funds for capital 
construction, endowment, and current operations. By late spring 2000, the 
campaign objectives were finalized: $16.5 million for construction of Heilman 
and Garber, $11.5 million for endowment, and $12 million for current opera- 
tions. The total to be raised was $40 million.” 

In the fall of 2000, approximately six months after the campaigns goal was finalized, 
the Colleges trustees faced some startling realities. The Heilman Center, originally 
expected to cost $2.5 million, had ballooned to $5,025 million.™ Additionally, it 
was learned that the true cost of the Garber Science Center renovation could top 
$20-23 million.™' Some of these costs were linked to the high-tech capabilities 
of the general purpose classrooms to be housed in Garber. 

Looking for a less expensive way of building these classrooms, the president 
and senior officers of the College™ resurrected an old tripartite plan from the 
Synodinos era. The plan took the gym out of Clyde A. Lynch and used that 
space for classrooms and offices. The plan’s upside was that classrooms and of- 


92 


fices could be built in Clyde A. Lynch at a lower cost than in a science building. 
Moreover, instead of having one building modernized (Garber), three building 
would be updated in character and appearance (Garber, Clyde A. Lynch, and 
gymnasium). The downside of this plan was that a new gymnasium would need 
to be built, delaying the renovation of Garber until the gym and Clyde A. Lynch 
projects were completed. Moreover, the savings would be minimal. In fact, 
more capital gift income would be needed.""" 

At its fall 2000 retreat, the trustees listened as the situation’s quandaries were 
outlined. Raising the campaign goal to $50 million, in a tripartite approach, 
was presented as an option, with the warning that the present $40 million cam- 
paign still lacked a major gift of $5 million. John Synodinos, now the honored 
president emeritus, attended that retreat. He was also now a College trustee and 
a strong advocate of the Great Expectations Campaign. During the evening of 
the retreat, in a conversation with Synodinos, “Ed and Jeanne Arnold offered 
to make a $5,000,000 pledge to the campaign. With that commitment in hand, 
and with the pledge of other [trustees] to make additional campaign gifts, a 
decision was made to raise the. ..goal to $50,000,000.”"""" 

T he establishment of a physical therapy program, addition of ice hockey, 
and the creation of a more spacious and beautiful learning environment 
signaled a college that was looking to grow. Growth was a major sig- 
nature of the Pollick years. Enrollment increased from 1,182 students in 1996 
to 1,560 by 2004.""""" At the same time, the academic quality of the entering 
students steadily improved, applications for admission doubled to 2,300, and by 
2004 approximately 25 percent of the incoming freshmen would study abroad 
during their collegiate careers versus seven percent in 1996. 

I t was announced on March 19, 2004, that Dr. David Pollick would be leav- 
ing Lebanon Valley College at the end of the academic year to become the 
president of Birmingham-Southern College. In an interview with la Vie 
Collegienne, Pollick remarked, “After eight wonderful years at Lebanon Val- 
ley College, the time has come for me to accept another challenge.”""""" In May 
2004, Dr. Stephen C. MacDonald, who since 1998 had been the College’s vice 
president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty, assumed the role of act- 
ing president at the urging of the College’s trustees. 

MacDonald had come to Lebanon Valley College in 1998 with impeccable 
credentials. He had a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, in history from Tufts 
University and was named to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a Ph.D. from the 
University of Virginia in modern European history. Prior to arriving at LVC, he 
had distinguished himself as associate dean of Dickinson College. 


93 



Stephen C. MacDonald, Ph.D., 
President, 2004-2012 


MacDonald’s competence in leading the College as 
acting president did not go unnoticed. To his surprise, 
he found himself enjoying his new duties. MacDonald, 
who previously had no desire to become the College’s 
president, suddenly had such an aspiration awakened. 
In June, he made known his wish to be considered a 
candidate for the College’s presidency. 

After intense scrutiny, the Lebanon Valley College 
Board of Trustees — convinced that MacDonald would 
bring the Great Expectations campaign to a success- 
ful conclusion, complete the tripartite capital building 
projects, and meet enrollment goals — named Stephen 
C. MacDonald as the College’s 17th president in Octo- 
ber 2004.““ 


O ne of MacDonald’s early tasks was to revise the school’s strategic plan. 

His revision, titled Strategic Plan 2005-2010, spoke of “our identity as a 
liberal arts college,” of undergraduate education as our “primary task,” 
of preserving the scale of the College “so that informality and professional 
intimacy can continue,” and of cherishing “our historical role as a regional 
college.”™ These statements flowed from the College’s past, a past that valued 
the liberal arts and undergraduate education, prized a nurturing faculty that 
interacted with students, and was rooted in Central Pennsylvania. 

In MacDonald’s revision, the past was providing clues as to what is valued, but 
it was also whispering what the College might aspire to become. The Annville 
Academy was given in 1866 to the East Pennsylvania Conference of the United 
Brethren Church “on condition that they would establish. ..an institution of 
learning, of high grade...” The Strategic Plan 2005-2010 and its successor plan 
echoed that same sentiment when they spoke of a “college in which everything 
is done well and some things are done exceedingly well.”™' 

The aspiration to do everything well and some things exceedingly well was 
not the primary institutional consideration in the mid-1980s. According to 
the 2001 Lebanon Valley College Institutional Self-Study, there were those in 
the mid-1980s who wondered if the College “possessed the material resources 
or the entrepreneurial imagination to create the physical plant, fashion the 
appropriate technologies, and assemble the appropriate staff that would attract 
the students who would assure its continued existence...”™' By the time of the 
arrival of MacDonald as president in 2004, such concerns had faded. There had 
been a turnaround. 


94 



The turnaround did not mean that enrollment issues would avoid attention. 

In the fall of 2008, there was a seven percent decline of incoming students, 36 
fewer than the previous fall. The College’s 2008-2009 Fact Book noted that there 
were 212 fewer applications for admission, a nine percent decline.*™" Moreover, 
demographic studies projected a diminishing number of high school gradu- 
ates until the fall of 2021.*™''' Added to this was the turbulent economy of 2008 
and 2009 that caused job losses and a decline in family incomes and savings. 
Colleges were feeling financially strapped as endowments lost value, the need 
for financial assistance to students increased, and a worsening economy made it 
more difficult for families to have their children attend college. 

The challenging environment that faced The Valley in the fall of 2008 and in 
2009 set in motion a number of creative initiatives and conservative strategies. 
The College initiated a market research study that led to a redesign of market- 
ing materials and changes in the College’s website. The percentage increase of 
tuition in 2009-2010 was the smallest in 10 years. A student retention consul- 
tant was hired to oversee the development and implementation of a retention 
plan. Building projects, unless they were already funded, were delayed. To 
attract students who played lacrosse, a new venture of intercollegiate men’s and 
women’s lacrosse was launched. Though there was no hiring freeze in 2009, 
positions that were vacant remained so for one year unless there was an over- 
whelming reason for filling them. 

These initiatives were successful. By the 2010-2011 academic year, they resulted 
in 498 new students being enrolled,**** an increase of 51 incoming students over 
the prior year. The initiatives also led to a retention rate of students returning 
for their sophomore year that placed the College, according to U.S. News & 
World Report, in the top 2.5 percent of all regional colleges nationwide, and in 
the top one percent in its category in terms of enrolling students from the top 
25 percent of their high school class.***" Equally important, the strategies that 
were employed kept the College on a sound financial footing. 

Vital collegiate institutions, writes Terry MacTaggart of the Ingram Center for 
Public Trusteeship, require that “the finances of a school be put in order” and a 
marketing program be in place that attracts students and donors. He goes on to 
say that a truly vital institution will move beyond finances and marketing to the 
pursuit of institutional excellence and “academic revitalization.”***"' Lebanon 
Valley College, by the initiatives and strategies it initiated in 2008 and 2009, 
put in order the school’s finances and created a new marketing program. By so 
doing, it successfully navigated the demographic and economic challenges of 
that period. But it was the pursuit of institutional excellence — the aspiration 
to do everything well and some things exceedingly well — that would drive the 
College as it moved toward its sesquicentennial. 


95 



Neidig-Garber Science Center 


W hen students returned for the spring semester of 2005, they discov- 
ered that the long-awaited Clyde A. Lynch Memorial Hall renova- 
tions were completed. This now all-academic structure had become 
a high-performance learning environment of classrooms with high-tech capa- 
bilities, faculty offices, seminar rooms, and an open atrium with a seating area 
and coffee-snack bar that encouraged students and faculty to mingle.™™“ 

With the completion of the Clyde A. Lynch project, attention turned to the 
most ambitious aspect of creating a state-of-the-art learning environment: 
the complete redesign of the Garber Science Center.™™ It was decided early 
in the planning process that the “new” Garber would be named the Neidig- 
Garber Science Center in honor of Dr. Dale Garber, an alumnus whose major 
gift enabled the building of the original Garber Science Center, and Dr. H. 
Anthony Neidig, a graduate of the College and an esteemed professor emeritus 
who taught chemistry at LVC for 38 years. Ten million dollars was needed to 
complete this project. The goal was met, and on June 30, 2007, the Great Expec- 
tations campaign, the largest single fundraising effort in the College’s history, 
came to an end. $55,402,758 had been secured in commitments. The goal of 
$50 million for capital construction, endowment, and current operations had 
been remarkably exceeded.** 

In the spring of 2006, the transformation of the existing Garber Science Center 
began, and in October 2008, the new Neidig-Garber Science Center was dedi- 
cated with research laboratories attached to all of the main laboratories, new 
seminar rooms, technologically “smart” classrooms, and “zones” for students to 
work on laptops, collaborate on projects, and relax.**' With its creation, a dream 


96 



that first surfaced in the Synodinos presidency, and began to become flesh dur- 
ing the Pollick presidency, was now seamlessly completed under the adminis- 
tration of Stephen MacDonald. 

A student who had seen an abundance of Renaissance and Baroque art 
in his Italian semester abroad returned to Annville with the idea of a 
wall in Frederic K. Miller Chapel becoming a canvas for a mural. Fu- 
eled by the enthusiasm of that student, Michael Pittari, associate professor of 
art, designed a special course in mural painting. The class began with students 
learning the history of this art form and of the mural process. Armed with this 
information, each student was given the task of creating a design for a mural. 

The designs were presented to a panel of judges. “Pathways” by Brett Buzdygon 
’07 was chosen. The class, acting as a team, then brought the design to life by 
transferring Buzdygon’s original painting to 10 wooden panels. The original 
8x33 -inch painting had become an 8x33 -foot mural, and in 2006 a Miller Cha- 
pel hallway was transformed.^" 

Rigorous course material and the lecture hall are an important part of learn- 
ing at Lebanon Valley College, but so is painting a mural for a chapel wall and 
gazing at art while studying abroad. The classroom had expanded. There was 
a new understanding that the window of learning is opened not only when a 
student looks up from class notes to ask a question of a professor, but also when 
a student engages a real-world dilemma through an internship, performs in 
a concert hall, participates in student teaching, or engages in student-faculty 
research.*''" Hands-on experience had become an essential part of a Lebanon 
Valley College education. 

W ith an easy gait, they ambled down the center aisle of the Allan W 

Mund College Center’s Leedy Theater. Nearly 30 chattering students 
seated themselves in the theater’s first two rows. They were there to au- 
dition for the fall production of the College’s Wig and Buckle Theater Company.*'"' 

Huddled at the back of the theater with the company’s faculty advisor. Dr. 

Kevin Pry ’76, were the play’s student director and the student stage manager. 
After giving some background regarding the script and characters, the student 
director began auditions. The play required a cast of 12, of whom seven would 
be main characters. It was obvious from the number of persons auditioning 
that some would know the disappointment of not being a member of the cast. 


97 


Throughout the evening, groups of students mounted the stage. Each was 
assigned a character, and a “cold” reading would begin. The director, stage 
manager, and advisor remained in the back taking notes and sharing reactions. 
At the end of the evening, when those auditioning were long gone, the three- 
some decided on the cast. The next morning the names of those selected were 
posted, after which rehearsals began, sets were built, and costumes and props 
were found. Fewer than eight weeks after the evening of auditions, the curtain 
opened on another production of the Wig and Buckle Theater Company."^" 

As the College moves toward its sesquicentennial, student -led activities 
abound. Some involve ongoing organizations, such as the Wig and Buckle 
Theater Company, student government groups. La Vie Collegienne, ValleyFest, 
Freedom Rings, and the Wednesday evening student-led worship service. 
Others are one-of-a-kind activities that are unrehearsed, as when nearly 400 
students, on a November 2006 night, marched to the president’s home on 
campus to revive the tradition that when Lebanon Valley defeats Albright in 
football, they are granted a day early leave for the Thanksgiving holiday. That 
night. President MacDonald, megaphone in hand, announced, “There will be 
no classes on Wednesday. Go home. Enjoy!” The crowd wildly cheered.'^'' 

Many student-led activities at The Valley involve community service and civic 
engagement. During the 2006-2007 academic year, student community service 
included support for cancer research (football team), building homes for the 
less fortunate (Servants of Christ), and environmental improvement (Quittie 
Park cleanup).’^" In 2007, with the intention of helping the College community 
become more aware of some of the pain in the world, students from the Sociol- 
ogy Club, Iota Phi Theta, and the Asia Club lined the Academic Quad with 
3,849 crosses made of popsicle sticks in honor of each soldier killed in Iraq. In 
addition, display panels brought attention to social injustice in North Korea, 
Burma, Darfur, and Nepal. In 2008, a College chapter of Habitat for Human- 
ity was initiated with nearly 50 students participating. The group provided 
563 hours of service to Habitat for Humanity in Lebanon County. During the 
2008-2009 academic year, students completed 13,334 hours of community 
service. The students represented “52 campus organizations, athletic teams, 
academic departments, and special-interest residence communities.” By the 
2011-2012 academic year, the last year of the MacDonald presidency, students 
completed 17,877 hours of service.’^™ 

A college center is a place for students to gather, relax, and socialize. It is 
where a student eats, as well as finds resources (e.g., the College Store, 
key support services) and usable activity spaces. It is critical to student 
life. By 2009, after nearly 40 years of use, the Mund College Center^“ had be- 
come a tired building that was unable to provide, in an efficient and attractive 


98 


manner, the myriad student services that the College wished to provide. There 
were numerous renovations over the years, but by 2009 it was apparent that a 
major revitalization and modernization was required. 

The transformation of the Mund College Center was approved by the Colleges 
trustees at their November 2009 meeting. Its transformation into a truly “high 
grade” facility with a Center for Student Excellence was completed in 2012. The 
renovation cost less than the budgeted $13.3 million. With its completion, Mac- 
Donald had not only successfully completed the tripartite building program and 
the Great Expectations campaign begun under the Pollick administration, but 
had added a rebuilt Mund College Center — a new centerpiece for student life. 


99 


Chapter ii Endnotes 

‘The slow-growth strategy was part of Lebanon Valley Colleges Strategic Plan 1995-2000. 

“The information regarding the interview comes from a May 5, 2008, telephone conversation 
with David PoUick. 

'“The quotation is from page 1 of an unpublished paper, The Case for Growth, by President 
Pollick. This paper, which was shared with the Colleges Board of Trustees, describes the 
case that Pollick made for an accelerated growth in enrollment. 

■''PoUick, The Case for Growth, 2. 

“Pollick, The Case for Growth, 3. 

“‘Pollick, The Case for Growth, 4. 

“““Minutes, May 17, 1997,” Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees: Agenda and Exhibits, 
November 1, 1997, 9. 

““■ “Minutes, May 20, 2000,” Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees: Agenda and Exhibits, 
October 6-7, 2000, 7-8. 

‘“The information regarding the genesis of the physical therapy major is from two sources: 
an emaU communication of May 17, 2008, from Dr. WiUiam McGUl, who in 1997 was vice 
president of academic affairs; Stephen Trapnell ’90, “Getting Physical,” The Valley, Fall/Win- 
ter 1998, 13. 

“New undergraduate and graduate programs in music, fine arts, sciences, education, and 
computing were introduced during the PoUick presidency. 

“■Two generous of gifts enabled the physical therapy facUity to be buUt. Suzanne H. Arnold 
H’96 committed $1.25 mUlion and trustee Edward H. Arnold H’87 committed $1 mUlion. 
The buUding was named the HeUman Center in memory of Suzanne Arnold’s father and 
brother. 

““The Dean’s Report for the May 15, 2004, meeting of the trustees gives a more detaUed de- 
scription of the development and accreditation of the physical therapy program. “Minutes, 
May 15, 2004,” Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees: Agenda and Exhibits, October 
2004, 14-15. 

““‘The Northeast League granted Lebanon Valley College a two-year provisional member- 
ship with the caveat that if after two years the CoUege seems capable of playing in the West, 
it would be urged to pursue membership in that league. The reluctance of the Northeast 
League to have Lebanon VaUey College as a member was attributed to the cost of travel and 
the impact on the student- athlete by requiring lengthy bus trips. The Valley did well in the 
Northeast League and was not looking to move to the West, but it was forced to do so with 
the 2004-2005 season. The source of this information is a document by Phil Buttafuoco, 
Commissioner, ECAC Northeast Elockey League, October 11, 2002, and an interview of 
Lou Sorrentino ’54, who was the College’s athletic director at the inception of the hockey 
program. 

“■“Genaro C. Armas, “LVC Finds Time Is Right for New Hockey Team,” The Patriot News, 
February 12, 1999, C 10. 

100 


"'Tom Hanrahan, “Sports,” The Valley, Fall/Winter 1998, 19. 

“Armas, The Patriot News, C 10. 

Stephen Trapnell ’90 and Cory Thornton ’99, “Picture Perfect,” The Valley, Spring/Summer 
2001, 7. 

"“The account of this meeting and its results is reported by Nancy Fitzgerald, “A Man, a 
Plan, a Campus Revamped,” The Valley, Summer 1997, 5-7. 

“The information regarding the Great Expectations campaign comes from an excellent 
summary found in a report prepared for the College’s trustees. Anne Berry, Final Report of 
the Great Expectations Campaign, October 2007, 16-28. 

"“Eeny, Final Report, 19. 

“The Fleilman Center was not the only construction project in the Great Expectations 
campaign that exceeded cost estimates. The new gymnasium, later named the Louis A. Sor- 
rentino Gymnasium, estimate was $3.9 million; the cost was approximately $5 million. The 
Clyde A. Lynch project estimate was $3 million; the cost was approximately $4.6 million. 
These overruns made the College’s trustees uneasy and eroded trust. 

"“Berry, Final Report, 20. 

“‘The senior/general officers of the College in 2000 consisted of the following: vice president 
of academic affairs and dean of faculty, vice president of advancement, vice president and 
controller, vice president of enrollment and student services, vice president of administration, 
and vice president of information technology services. 

“Berry, Final Report, 20. 

“Berry, Final Report, 21. 

""Enrollment figures come from the College’s Office of Admission and are for full-time 
enrollment for the fall semester. 

““ Lisa Landis ’04, “President Pollick to Leave LVC Community,” La Vie Collegienne, March 
25,2004, 1. 

“‘‘‘For a more extensive rendering of the process by which Stephen MacDonald became 
president and of his presidency, see Chapter 17. 

Strategic Plan 2005-2010, 3. 

^Strategic Plan 2005-2010, 3-4; and Strategic Plan 2009-2016, 2. 

‘““Introduction,” Lebanon Valley College Institutional Self-Study, 2001, 2. 

Lebanon Valley College 2008-2009 Fact Book, 5. 

‘““Larrea Tridentata, Lebanon Valley College Marketing Environment Study, 2, 5. 

^''Strategic Indicators Dashboard (Fall 2010). 


101 


The information concerning the College’s ranking in US News & World Reports annual 
edition of America’s Best Colleges comes from an email report to the College trustees dated 
August 18, 2010. 

Terry MacTaggart, “Reversal of Fortune,” AGB Trusteeship, January/February 2008, 31. 

™™‘Kate Fry ’07, “Lynch Renovations Finally Open,” La Vie Collegienne, February 3, 2005, 

1, 3; Tim Flynn ’05, “Lynch Flail Renovations Set to Go Fligh-Tech,” La Vie Collegienne, 
September 16, 2004, 1. 

™™“The Garber Science Center was named for Dr. Dale Garber, a 1918 graduate of the 
College. Garber was a Philadelphia medical doctor who was deeply concerned about the 
education of all students. Flis gift to the College of $1.75 million was used for the construc- 
tion of the science center. 

™“''Anne Berry, Final Report, 26-28. 

Mary Beth Flower, “Engagement, Infrastructure, and Integration,” The Valley, Summer 
2005, 17-18. 

^‘For a more detailed description of the mural project, see Jen Fontanez ’09, “Student-De- 
signed Mural Adds Spice to Chapel Basement,” La Vie Collegienne, November 30, 2006, 1. 

An example of student research at Lebanon Valley can be found in how Dr. Neil Perry, 
assistant professor of economics, taught his Energy Colloquium seminar students about 
the use of energy in our society. “1 thought,” said Perry, “an energy audit would be the best 
way for students to learn how we use energy.” By having students develop and complete a 
carbon footprint inventory of the College, the students provided a service to the College 
and gained an understanding of how energy is used. “Carbon Footprints,” President’s Re- 
port, 2007-2008, 7. In 2008, the Fleet Grant initiative for student-faculty research projects, 
primarily in the humanities and social sciences, was established. Six projects, most of 
which were two-year projects and involved 35 to 40 students and 1 1 faculty members, were 
funded. The Edward FI. Arnold and Jeanne Donlevy Arnold Program for Experimental 
Education (Arnold Grants) was established in 201 1 to provide funding for faculty- student 
research, internships, and independent summer student research. 

^“The audition described took place on September 9, 2008. The production for which 
students auditioned was Steven Deitz’s Dracula. The play opened in the College’s Leedy 
Theater on Flalloween, October 31, 2008. 

Cassandra Kane ’09 and Steve Whiskeyman ’09, “Students Rally for Day Off,” La Vie Col- 
legienne, November 16, 2006, 1-2. 

* Mary Beth Flower, “Practicing What We Teach,” The Valley, Fall 2006, 2-6. 

Jake King ’09, “Social Justice Day Promotes Activism Cross by Cross,” La Vie Collegienne, 
November 15, 2007, 1, 3. 

jtivii “Valley News and Notes,” The Valley, Fall 2009, 3. 

Lebanon Valley College 201 1 -2012 Fact Book, 46. 

^“The Mund College Center was named in honor of Allan W. Mund. Mund had served as 
the chairperson of the College’s trustees and in 1968, as acting president of the College. 


102 


Chapter 12 

The Emerging Future 


O n May 19, 2011, President Stephen C. MacDonald announced to the 
members of the Lebanon Valley College community that he would 
retire June 30, 2012. He remarked, “I believe the College is in an excel- 
lent position to prepare for a transition to new leadership.” 

In tribute to MacDonald’s leadership. Dr. Lynn G. Phillips ’68, chair of the Col- 
lege’s Board of Trustees, stated, “Dr. MacDonald has been a strong and steady 
president and a dedicated dean of the faculty for his 14 years at LVC. He has 
earned our deep respect for his genuine concern for the entire LVC community 
and for establishing LVC as a vibrant, regional liberal arts college poised to 
grow-and ‘grow well’ into the future.” 

With MacDonald’s an- 
nouncement, Phillips made 
it known that the trustees of 
the College had developed 
initial guidelines for a na- 
tional search for the College’s 
18th president, a search com- 
mittee was being formed, 
and “AGB Search, a national 
higher education search firm, 
had been engaged to assist 
the committee.”' 


O n May 23, 2012, it 
was recommended 
to the College’s 
trustees by the Presidential 
Search Committee that Lewis 
Evitts Thayne be invited to 
become the 18th president 
of Lebanon Valley College. 
The committee had met for 
nearly a year. There had been 


Lewis E. Thayne, Ph.D., 
President, 2012-Present 



103 


a national presidential search that was followed by a targeted search. Commit- 
tee members had developed an extensive prospectus, read countless curricula 
vitae of potential candidates, interviewed those whom they considered prime 
candidates, and on the 23rd made a recommendation. 

Three weeks earlier, the trustees witnessed Dr. Thayne, who received a Ph.D. in 
comparative literature from Princeton University, interacting with faculty and 
the College community. They met with him privately, and important questions 
were answered. It was decided by the trustees on May 23 to act positively to the 
search committee’s unanimous recommendation. 

Lewis Evitts Thayne, at the time of his candidacy, was the vice president for 
college advancement at Franklin & Marshall College. There, he had produced 
seven years of record-breaking fundraising results, completed successful cam- 
paigns for 12 individual capital projects, and prepared the college for a pro- 
posed $225 million comprehensive campaign. “ 

Thayne’s response to the invitation to become president of Lebanon Valley 
College was positive. His affirmative response flowed from his being “deeply 
impressed by the thoughtfulness, energy, and pride reflected by aU constituen- 
cies at the College.” He went on to say, “I truly believe I can make a positive 
difference at Lebanon Valley College.” On Aug. 1, 2012, he became the College’s 
18th president. Lewis Evitts Thayne would lead the College as it moved toward 
its sesquicentennial. 



he letter was sent June 29, 2012. Stephen MacDonald retired June 30, 
2012. The letter sat on the president’s desk for a month, waiting to be 


.X. dealt with on August 1, 2012, the day that Lewis Thayne began his du- 
ties as the College’s president. Its source was the Middle States Commission on 
Higher Education, the accrediting agency for the middle states region. The let- 
ter announced that the College’s accreditation had been placed under warning 
status. It was not the quality of education at The Valley, the financial viability of 
the institution, nor the virtuosity of the faculty that was being questioned. The 
concern of Middle States had to do with assessment. 

The letter stated that to be in compliance with the assessment standards of the 
commission, the College would need to take steps that “promote an institution- 
wide culture of assessment and evidence.” What such a culture would involve 
was explicitly cited by Middle States. It was to include putting in place a “sus- 
tainable assessment process” and providing evidence that assessment results 
are used “to improve teaching and learning,” institutional planning, resource 
allocation, and “efficiencies in programs and services.””' 


104 


President Thayne let everyone know that he saw great benefit to assessment 
done well. He informed the College’s trustees that assessment “will enable us to 
make better decisions about the future of LVC.”" With this attitude, a campus- 
wide initiative sprang into action. Not only would there be compliance, but the 
work of the College would be strengthened. Middle States had informed the 
College that it would probably take a full two years before the warning status 
could be lifted. On June 27, 2013, after just one year. Middle States, pleased 
with the work that was done, reaffirmed LVC’s accreditation.'’ 

I n 2012, higher education found itself negotiating a national landscape 
fraught with pitfalls. Tuition was rising while middle class families found 
their income stagnating. About a third of students at graduation had “not 
significantly improved their writing, critical thinking, or analytical [skills] .” 
Graduation rates across the nation lagged, and state support of higher educa- 
tion was declining. Demographics indicated fewer 18 year-old students, with 
the sharpest decline occurring in the Northeast and Midwest sections of the 
country. With such a landscape, higher education needed to overcome its 
“natural inclination to stay the same.”'’* 

Institutions can become set in their ways. Lebanon Valley College in 2012 was 
no exception. The Middle States accreditation warning was a bolt of lightning 
that alerted the College that its set ways were not always adequate. An aware- 
ness was now present that there might be other matters beyond assessment that 
needed attention. Suddenly a plethora of issues were clamoring to be noticed, 
setting in motion the following whirlwind of activity: 

The General Education Program in 2013 had been in place at LVC for 
more than 20 years. It had continued basically the same, with some 
minor revisions, since its inception. It had become a set way of cur- 
ricular offerings. In the fall of 2013, the General Education Advisory 
Committee began a review of the program. The committee found that 
“the current curricular offerings were not adequately addressing the 
goals of general education.” It concluded — after collecting data, review- 
ing best practices, and involving the faculty in possible options — that a 
major revision of the program was necessary. 

The committee proposed a program in which the first -year experi- 
ence would involve students in small seminar-style courses that would 
develop core competencies, encourage an attitude of intellectual 
questioning, initiate an E-portfolio, and focus on supporting students 
in the transition to college. During the sophomore or junior years, 
students would complete a cluster of three courses around a single 
theme. One course would focus on how people see the world through 


105 


the lens of scientific inquiry, another course through the lens of the 
humanities, and a third course through the lens of the social sciences. 
Students would also be expected to take, after the ftrst-year experience, 
signature courses that would develop designated competencies, a cap- 
stone course that culminates in a major project and synthesizes what 
has been learned thus far, and two high-impact experiences with a 
reflective essay for each experience.™ The faculty approved the General 
Education Program, Constellation LVC, April 23, 2015. 

The Admission and Scholarship Programs in effect in 2013 dated 
back to 1992 and the Synodinos presidency. They had been quite ef- 
fective, but that seemed no longer the case. The 2013-2014 academic 
year was one in which 455 new students were enrolled at the College, 
down from the target enrollment of 525 first-year students. In the fall 
of 2014, “according to an annual Gallop survey, 71% of the institutions 
[polled] failed to meet their enrollment targets.” The competition for 
students among the 115 colleges and universities within a 100-mile 
radius of Annville had become fierce and was increasing. 

Immediate corrective steps were taken. Set ways were about to change. 
The Common Application, in which students complete just one ap- 
plication that can be sent to multiple schools, and an early decision 
acceptance program were initiated. Two new physical therapy-related 
curricular offerings were approved — athletic training and exercise sci- 
ence — that would attract new students. Moreover, other new programs 



Annual Symposium on Inclusive Excellence 


106 



were being considered and older ones reconfigured whose excellence 
would appeal to potential students. A consultancy that specializes in 
higher education financial aid began work with the College “in crafting 
a redesigned scholarship program beginning in 2016.” The redesigned 
program is to allow a more strategic use of financial aid dollars to 
leverage enrollment.™' 

Envision 2020 was a departure from the set way that strategic planning 
had been done at Lebanon Valley College. Normally, such planning 
was staff driven. Now the larger LVC community — students, faculty, 
trustees, and staff — was to have a voice in the discussion. The pro- 
cess began in the fall of 2013. E4, a consultant group, was hired, and 
a steering committee was formed. In 2014, there were opportunities 
for each of the College’s constituencies to discuss the realities facing 
higher education, the College’s mission and values, its readiness for 
change, and what a 10-year goal might be. A plan began to evolve from 
the information gathered. Ideas were tested and refined by the larger 
community. On February 14, 2015, the Envision 2020 strategic plan 
was endorsed by the Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees. 

The plan speaks of empowering “students for a life of learning, citizen- 
ship, and success.” It talks of delivering “a transformative education 
built on the liberal arts,” “graduating world-ready students,” “integra- 
tive and immersive learning experiences,” and “the pursuit of scholar- 
ship between faculty and students.” The plan emphasizes educational 
and “inclusive excellence,”'" which echoes the founders of the College’s 
dream of “an institution of learning, of high grade.” The Envision 2020 
strategic plan has provided a road map, with an overarching vision, for 
navigating from the present to the opportunities and challenges that 
will stretch beyond the College’s sesquicentennial." 


T he floor of the Louis A. Sorrentino Gymnasium in the LVC Sports Cen- 
ter was alive with activity. Something was definitely happening. It wasn’t 
basketball players, as you might expect on a gym floor, racing about to 
the cheers of the fans in the stands. This was something different. The aliveness 
came from student exhibitors who were excited to share what they had learned 
from research or to display some original work that they had done. What was 
equally amazing was the excitement of those who moved from display to dis- 
play listening to what these student exhibitors shared. 


It all happened the night of April 16, 2015. The Sorrentino Gymnasium had 
become host to a symposium of student research and original work called 
“Inquiry 2015.” There were 97 exhibits. Some of the projects were the result 


107 


of a group effort; others flowed from the effort of one individual. Some of the 
exhibitors had presented their work before professional groups; others had not. 
A variety of fields of inquiry, from the sciences to the humanities, were part of 
the symposium.” 

His field is chemistry. With an abundance of mature patience, Brendon Irving 
’17, an exhibitor at “Inquiry 2015,” explained his student research to those 
who would listen — many of whom were untutored in the mystery of chloro- 
ethyleters. His exhibit, titled “Investigation of Substitution and Elimination 
Reactions of 2-Chloroethyleters,” flowed from an independent study project 
to which Professor Timothy Peelen had been his advisor. Independent study 
programs have a long tradition at Lebanon Valley. Bruce Metzger, in the early 
1930s, engaged in such a study under the tutelage of Professor Alvin Stoneci- 
pher. Today, as the College’s sesquicentennial year concludes, such research and 
original work has become more normative — aided by initiatives such as the All- 
wein Scholars Program, the Arnold Program for Experiential Education, and 
the President’s Innovation Fund. 


T he desire to strengthen the College and make it better is an ever-present 
thread of the Lebanon Valley College story. In many ways, the story is an 
elegant puzzlement, in that it is about a College that began with a less than 

promising future, had moments when its 
survival was in doubt, and yet grew grace- 
fully into a mature institution of excellence. 
How this happened is a tale of dire crises 
being met, the right leadership emerging 
at critical moments, and an endless line of 
dedicated professors, administrators, staff, 
trustees, alumni, and donors. 

The mature institution that the College 
has become is vastly different from the 
school that was originally founded. On 
May 7, 1866, Lebanon Valley College 
opened with 49 students. The campus 
consisted of one building, the old An- 
nville Academy. By 1873, there were two 
buildings that sat on a six-acre parcel of 
land.”' Fast forward to August 2012. The 
College, at the time of Lewis Thayne’s ar- 
rival, welcomed 1,744 undergraduate stu- 
dents — of whom 1,618 were full-time and 



(1.): Don Johnson ’73 and 
Lou Sorrentino ’54 


108 




(1): Cameron Venable ’14, who spent two months conducting research in Puerto Rico after 
receiving an Arnold Grant, shares his research with Dr. Renee Lapp Norris, 
chair and professor of music, at the annual Inquiry Symposium. 


126 were part-time — and 240 graduate students. The campus now consisted 
of 340 acres and 48 buildings. The contrast of the College’s beginning with the 
mature institution it has become is stark, and yet it is the vision of the College’s 
founders — “an institution. ..of high grade” — that energizes the present. 

At the 25th anniversary of Lebanon Valley College, June 15, 1892, Judge J.B. 
McPherson said: 

On such an occasion it is well to pause.. .and review the story 
of the past; to linger with pardonable pride over difficulties... 
faced and overcome, to point out the steps of progress. ..and to 
take courage for a new and ever more inspiring future.™' 

On the occasion of Lebanon Valley College’s sesquicentennial. Of High Grade 
has reviewed with pardonable pride the difficulties faced and overcome, and 
the obvious steps of progress made in the 150-year story of the College. It is a 
story that evokes courage “for a new and ever more inspiring future.” 

Editor’s Note: As this history was nearing completion, the College received several 
extraordinary gifts from alumni and friends. Jeanne Donlevy Arnold H’08 and Edward 
H. Arnold H’87 made the largest gift in the College’s history — $10 million — to support 
construction of the Jeanne and Edward H. Arnold Health Professions Pavilion, opening 
in 2018. Gifts from TJte Bishop Eoundation and its members Katherine, TJtomas, and 
Trudie Bishop; TJte S. Dale High Eamily Eoundation and Gregory A. High ’92; Lois Brong 
Miller ’61; and Benjamin and Suzanne Shankroff will support the next phase of physical 
transformation for Lebanon Valley College. 


109 






Chapter 12 Endnotes 

‘The announcement of the retirement of Dr. MacDonald and the remarks of Dr. Phillips are 
from a press release to the media and the Lebanon Valley College community of May 19, 
2011 . 

“This information comes from the curriculum vitae that Dr. Thayne submitted to the Col- 
leges trustees. 

'“At its session on June 28, 2012, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education deter- 
mined that Lebanon Valley College was not in compliance with their standards. 

■''This is from an email progress report to the College’s trustees of October 2, 2012. 

“Wesley T. Dellinger ’75, P’05, “Navigating Accrediting Issues with a New President and 
Board Chair,” Trusteeship, July/ August 2014, 37. 

"The information regarding the pitfalls facing higher education comes from two articles 
published in The Chronicle of Higher Education. Ann Kirschner, “Innovations in Higher 
Education? Hah!,” April 8, 2012 and Sara Lipka, “Demographic Data Lets Colleges Peer Into 
the Future,” January 19, 2014. 

The general education material comes from The Lebanon Valley Experience — A Proposed 
Model for General Education prepared by the College’s General Education Advisory Commit- 
tee. 

"“The information regarding the admission and scholarship programs comes from Austin 
DiBernard ’16, “Enrollment Down, LVC’s Response,” La Vie Collegienne, September 10, 

2014, 1, 2; “Milestones and Firsts,” 2013-2014 Presidents Report, 5; and an email progress 
report from Dr. Thayne to College trustees dated April 9, 2015. 

^Envisioned Future, endorsed by the LVC Board of Trustees, February 14, 2015. 

“Christine Brandt Little, “Envisioning the Future,” The Valley, Spring 2015, 16. 

"The information regarding Inquiry 2015 comes from the author being present at the sym- 
posium and the informational guide that was given to those in attendance. 

"‘The information regarding buildings and acreage in the founding years is from a Circular 
of Lebanon Valley College, 1873, 3; and a paper read before the Lebanon County Historical 
Society on February 17, 1905, by E. Benjamin Bierman, The First Twenty-Five Years of Leba- 
non Valley College, 114-115. 

‘“‘Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, VIE 


no 


Part II 


Interpretive Essays 











■^r^ 'V 




Chapter 13 

From Dependent Child 
to Distant Cousin’ 

J. Dennis Williams 

T he spire of Frederic K. Miller Chapel, which dominates the sky as you 
approach the College from the north, gives tangible witness that the 
church is part of the story of Lebanon Valley College. College catalogs 
have stated that the school’s “mission arises directly from its historic tradi- 
tions and a relationship with The United Methodist Church.”“ The story of that 
relationship has required the College to interact with three different church 
bodies: the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (1866-1946), the Evangeli- 
cal United Brethren Church (1946-1968), and The United Methodist Church 
(1968-present). 


I 


H igher education had its outspoken adversaries in the Church of the 

United Brethren in Christ. This opposition was based on the fear that 
schooling beyond “the three R’s” would draw young people away from 
the Bible and promote worldliness. It was also feared that unpayable debts 
would be incurred. Such fears were counterbalanced by the church’s need for 
an educated leadership and the realization that the church could not expect to 
retain its youth if “it [failed] to offer them as good opportunities for growth as 
[could] be found elsewhere... 


Driven by these counterbalancing factors, the East Pennsylvania Conference of 
the Church of the United Brethren in Christ established Lebanon Valley Col- 
lege. The school officially opened on Monday, May 7, 1866, but the resistance 
persisted. A few months after the College officially opened, a Confidential Cir- 
cular was distributed among the members of the conference. The circular was 
an attempt to overcome resistance to the College, alleviate the fear of debt, and 
win clergy support in the matter of student recruitment. It stated: 

As the college belongs to the Conference, and as we have 
leased it in such a way that each additional boarding pupil 
will bring a revenue to the Conference of from $9 to $17 per 
annum, we trust you will put forth every effort, and diligently 
use your personal influence to secure students for the school." 


113 


By huckstering the College as a “cash cow” that would provide income to the 
conference, it was hoped that the fear of irredeemable debts would be exorcized 
and support would be increased. 

T he relationship between this offspring College and its founding church 
displayed a signature that was recognizable to both parties. One recog- 
nizable characteristic of that partnership was that both the school and 
the church understood that Lebanon Valley College was an institution of the 
United Brethren in Christ. The initial resolution, that accepted the donation 
of property in Annville for establishing the College, resolved that the school 
should “be forever retained and conducted as a Classical School of the United 
Brethren in Christ.”'' The Confidential Circular that was distributed in 1866 
stated that “the College belongs to the Conference.” 

Being an institution of the United Brethren meant that the church had a pivotal 
influence on the College. This influence was evident in the selection of the 
president of the College and the composition of the Board of Trustees. During 
the United Brethren era, every College president, after the first president, was 
not only a United Brethren, but a United Brethren minister who received at 
least part of his education at a United Brethren institution. In 1933, the board 
consisted of 36 persons, of which 30 were elected by the conferences as rep- 
resentatives of the church. Twenty-two of the 30 church representatives were 
clergy.''' With such a board and presidents, it was inevitable that the College 
reflected the values of the church when it came to the Bible, church teachings, 
and evangelism. In 1900, President Roop reported to the East Pennsylvania 
Conference: 

The religious conditions of the college last year was gratifying. 

More than ninety percent of all the students were professing 
Christians. All the resident students were, or became Chris- 
tians during the year. During the winter term one of the winds 
of God blew through the college. Many accepted Christ, and 
others were spiritually revived. No college is better fulfilling its 
purpose, namely, that of promoting sound learning and deep 
piety in its students.'** 

A second characteristic of the relationship between the church and the College 
in the United Brethren era was the dependency of the College on the church. 
The College relied on the church for students. At the College’s inception, the 
members of the East Pennsylvania Conference were asked to “use your person- 
al influence to secure students for the school.”''*** The same refrain was repeated 
year after year. In 1946, the end of the United Brethren era. President Clyde 
Lynch reported that 30.7 percent of the school’s total enrollment was from the 
Church of the United Brethren in Christ. 


114 



Frederic K. Miller Chapel 
was revitalized during its 
50th anniversary year in 
2016. 


The College also relied on the church for funding. In difficult financial times, 
the College would cry to the church for help. During the Second World War, 
the male student body of the College had shrunk dramatically. This caused a 
financial emergency. President Lynch reported to the trustees in 1943 that “our 
cooperating conferences and the denomination should stand in readiness... to 
provide emergency financial aid to the College.... Unless such aid should come, 
Lebanon Valley College will likely become a deplorable casualty of the war.”“ A 
financial campaign to raise $550,000 was launched. In 1948, President Lynch 
reported that the East Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Conferences had pledged 
$424,855, more than 75 percent of what was required."' 

A third characteristic of the relationship was that the church saw itself as a 
college-related church. At the annual meetings of the cooperating conferences, 
the president of Lebanon Valley College would give a report on the state of the 
College to the conferences. Invariably, there would be comments concerning 
the College in the report of the superintendents and the report of the commit- 
tee charged with the educational interests of the conference. There were often 
resolutions concerning the College and its welfare that were items of discus- 
sion. Local churches of the cooperating conferences each year celebrated a col- 
lege day. Representatives of the College were welcomed in the churches. 

On April 7, 1908, President Keister reported to the executive committee of the 
College that he had been welcomed and spoken in 19 local churches in a 13- 
week period.” 


115 




T here is a story told, perhaps more legend than actual, that personifies 
the nature of the partnership between Lebanon Valley College and the 
church during the United Brethren era. On Christmas Eve 1904, the Ad- 
ministration Building of the College, ablaze with flames, lit the sky like a burn- 
ing torch. “It burned like a brush pile,” said one spectator. At the end, all that 
remained was a “blackened skeleton” of a building.™ Rumor had it that the fire 
spread upward through the elevator shaft. When the plans for the new building 
were proposed, there was a place for an elevator. This was opposed by a bishop. 
Legend says that the bishop opposed having an elevator, because he believed 
that since elevators are not in the Bible, they are not proper for a church col- 
lege. The new building was constructed with no elevator. From this story, a 
picture emerges of the relationship between the College and the church during 
the United Brethren era. It was a relationship between a dependent child (the 
College) and a controlling parent (the church). 



O n Nov. 16, 1946, in the city of Johnstown, Pa., the Church of the 

United Brethren in Christ and the Evangelical Church were conjoined. 
Lebanon Valley College was now an Evangelical United Brethren 
institution. 

The partnership between the new church and the College continued to display 
the same three characteristics as were evident in the United Brethren in Christ 
years. The College was still seen as belonging to the church, only now it was the 
Evangelical United Brethren Church.”'' The church continued to be a pivotal 
influence in the life of the College and saw itself as college related.™ A depen- 
dency on the church for students and funding was no less real. In 1947, 262 
students of the total enrollment of 831 students were from Evangelical United 
Brethren churches. In 1954, the College was advised that a capital campaign 
of $900,000 to $1,000,000 seemed possible, but only if “$500,000 [would] be 
authorized by the denomination.”™' 

Notwithstanding that the partnership between the Evangelical United Brethren 
Church and the College seemed much the same as it had been in the United 
Brethren years, change was taking place. At the 1958 General Conference of the 
Evangelical United Brethren Church, the understanding of the church as being 
like a controlling parent and its colleges as dependent children surfaced. The 
issue over which this attitude surfaced had to do with activities that should or 
should not be a part of the social program of the colleges. There were some who 
wanted the General Conference, as a controlling parent, to ban certain activities 
on the campuses of its colleges, while approving other activities. In response, a 


116 



Ministerial Students, Circa 1915 


resolution was approved by the conference that entrusted to the trustees of each 
of the colleges, including LVC, the responsibility of determining what activities 
should be a part of their social program. The General Conference would have 
nothing to do with micromanaging its schools. The colleges were being re- 
garded as emerging adults who would make wise decisions, though the church 
did expect to receive reports of the social, moral, and religious aspects of life 
on its college campuses. The church was becoming a hovering parent that was 
involved with its colleges, while understanding that it was impractical to run 
them.™' 

This changing relationship was evident at Lebanon Valley College in the matter 
of finances. Thirteen percent of the College’s income for the fiscal year ending 
June 30, 1947, came from the church. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 1966, 
the amount of funding from the church had grown to $137,370, but the per- 
centage of the total income of the College that came from church sources had 
decreased to 6.7 percent.™' The College was becoming less dependent on the 
church for its economic viability. 

The growing independence of the College from the church extended beyond 
finances. In 1961, the trustees authorized a Committee on Policy and Program. 
The committee was to be a joint committee of trustees and faculty. The group 
met on Sept. 9, 1961. Providing a strengthened curriculum for the training 
of teachers was discussed. A clergy trustee urged the group to remember that 


117 



training of ministers was the responsibility of the College. President Frederic 
K. Miller acknowledged this responsibility, but then returned the discussion to 
the need for the training of teachers.™ In this discussion, the College, like an 
emerging adult, exercised an independence from the church. It would pursue a 
strengthened teacher training curriculum. And yet the church, with a presence 
like a hovering parent, was that to which the College listened. The training of 
ministers would not be abandoned. 


Ill 


O n April 23, 1968, in Dallas, Texas, Evangelical United Brethren Bishop 
Reuben Miller and Methodist Bishop Lloyd Wicke clasped hands and 
declared their two peoples to be one in The United Methodist Church. 
Lebanon Valley College was now to be a related institution of this new church. 
Where once the College had been related to a body of people whose member- 
ship hovered under 800,000 Evangelical United Brethren, now it would be part 
of a group of nearly 1 1 million United Methodists.”^ Before the merger, the 
College had been related to a church with eight colleges. Now it was part of a 
church with 84 baccalaureate level colleges. 

In the early years of the United Methodist partnership, much seemed the same 
as in the Evangelical United Brethren era. The three characteristics that had 
been present since the United Brethren in Christ days were evident. The Col- 
lege viewed itself as an institution of the church and continued to lean on the 
church for students, leadership, and funding. The new church seemed to see 
itself as college related and having a pivotal influence on the College. In 1970, 
there were 54 voting members of the Lebanon Valley College Board of Trustees. 
Thirty-two were elected by the conferences. Twenty-one of the conference- 
elected trustees were clergy. A bishop, three district superintendents, and two 
conference program directors were among the members of the board.™ With 
such a board, the influence of the church on the College was strong. 

Though the partnership between the College and the church at the beginning 
of the United Methodist era was one of an emerging adult and a hovering par- 
ent, that relationship changed in the ensuing years. The financial support of the 
College is illustrative of the change. At the time of union, the Eastern Penn- 
sylvania Conference had promised no less than $150,000 annually to support 
the College.™ The amount that was actually given diminished over the years. 

In the mid-1980s the conferences treasurer and council director visited the 
Colleges president, John A. Synodinos. The purpose of the visit was to inform 
the College that the conference, because of financial difficulties, would be un- 
able to provide financial support to the College in its future budgets beyond a 


118 


token amount of $5,000 annually. To the surprise of the conference representa- 
tives, the president of the College, on receiving this news, expressed no resent- 
ment. His response was, “Our relationship is not based on money.” He asked 
the conference representatives, “How can the college help the church?”““ The 
partnership had changed. The College was no longer a dependent child or an 
emerging adult. The church was no longer a controlling or a hovering parent. 
The partnership was now between two full-fledged adults. 

N either adult, on the arrival of the 21st century, seemed to be talking 
very much to the other. By the year 2000, Lebanon Valley College no 
longer had conference-elected trustees; therefore, the need for conver- 
sation between parties on the matter of trusteeship ceased.™ The conferences 
no longer had the College president make a report on the state of the College at 
their annual meetings. At the formation of The United Methodist Church, the 
Central Pennsylvania and Eastern Pennsylvania Conferences had talked of a 
Regional Commission on Higher Education. A coordinating committee of five 
educational institutions (including Lebanon Valley College) and three confer- 
ences was initiated, but this group ceased to exist well before the year 2000, as 
did occasional meetings of the College of Bishops with the college presidents. 
The church and the College had become like distant cousins who, as the Col- 
lege’s sesquicentennial concludes, seldom talked and rarely thought of one an- 
other. There are reasons for this distancing. An erosion of interest on the part of 



Annville United Methodist Church partnered 
with the College to host services and classes. 


119 






the church toward the College is a factor. Through much of the United Brethren 
era, the College was the only college of the church in Pennsylvania. There are 
now four United Methodist colleges within the boundaries of the Susquehanna 
Conference and Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. Interest was no longer 
focused on one institution of higher education. Once, Lebanon Valley College 
had been the primary center for the training of ministers and church leaders. 
This has gradually changed. More and more of the church’s youth attend public 
institutions. With fewer United Methodist youth attending the College, interest 
on the part of the church has lessened. There had been a time when the church 
had the energy and resources to sustain the College’s development, but this is 
no longer the case. The church is dealing with issues such as an aging member- 
ship, a slow decline in numbers, and financial limitations. It is these matters 
and not the College that are the focus of church attention.™ 

The maturation of Lebanon Valley College is another factor in this distancing. 

As the College matured, it required resources and leadership beyond which the 
church was able to provide. This led the College to become more independent of 
the church. With independence, the College began defining itself, choosing its 
own presidents, and cultivating a constituency of support beyond the church. 

It became immersed in the coUegiate universe, and a professional distancing 
took place. The College and church developed their own quasi-professional 
networks of expertise.™ All of which resulted, some 40 years into the United 
Methodist era, with the College and church becoming distant to each other. 

This distancing has not meant that the imprint of the church is absent from 
the College. The United Brethren parents, who in the late 1860s sent the first 
students to Lebanon Valley College, did not have in most cases the benefit of a 
college education themselves, but they wanted their children to be included at 
the table of learning. The anticipation was that those who sat at this table would 
do so in an atmosphere in which there was a vibrant religious life and training 
for service to the world. 

Today, a significant portion of each entering class at Lebanon Valley College 
come from households where parents have not attended college, but who want 
their children to have a place at the table of higher education. Lebanon Valley 
College students discover, on their arrival, that a vibrant religious life is very 
much alive on the campus. In 2011, 22 percent of all students were participat- 
ing in some aspect of the campus religious program.™“ There are worship op- 
portunities each week in which the Christian story is central. Numerous Bible 
study groups and support groups meet regularly. Service opportunities abound. 


120 


T he story of the relationship between the church and Lebanon Valley Col- 
lege is a story of change. The College is no longer a dependent child, and 
the church is no longer a controlling parent. The relationship is between 
two full-fledged adults. Unfortunately these adults, like distant cousins, seldom 
talk and so rarely think of one another that the reasons for their having conver- 
sations are not as clear as they once were. Thankfully, the church has a system 
in place to conduct decennial reviews, and at the most recent one in September 
2013, church officials met with College administrators, faculty, and students 
over a period of several days to discuss common goals and emphases. Such 
dialog is invaluable for there to be “a new and ever more inspiring future” for 
the church and College relationship.”"” 


121 


Chapter 13 Endnotes 

‘This essay is adapted from an article of the same title by J. Dennis Williams in Methodist 
History (Madison, N.J.: General Commission on Archives and History, The United Meth- 
odist Church), January 2004, Vol. XLII, No. 2, 98-109. 

"Lebanon Valley College Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog, 2002-2003, 3. 

'"Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1880, 17. 

‘“A copy of the Confidential Circular is to be found in the College archives. 

''Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1866, 15. 

'"Lebanon Valley College Catalog, 1933, 5. 

'"'Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1900, 20. 

Confidential Circular. 

“Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 201. 

^Minutes of the East Pennsylvania Conference, 1948, 52. 

‘“This information is from the handwritten minutes for April 7, 1908, of the Lebanon Valley 
College Executive Committee. 

‘“‘A description of the fire can be found in TheAnnville Journal, December 31, 1904, 1. 

‘“‘‘This story was told to me by Dr. Howard Applegate, a Lebanon Valley College professor 
emeritus. 

‘“'"The General Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren Church spoke of “a respon- 
sibility on the part of the Church for her colleges.” Official Proceedings of the Thirty-Eighth 
Session (Third since Union) of the General Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren 
Church (Harrisburg, Pa.: The Evangelical Press, 1954), 265. 

‘“The influence of the church was seen in the composition of the Board of Trustees and in 
the selection of the College president. Except for the alumni trustees, aU trustees continued 
to be elected by the cooperating conferences. Half of the trustees were Evangelical United 
Brethren ministers. Though the College president during much of the Evangelical United 
Brethren era. Dr. Frederic Miller, was not an ordained minister, he was a respected leader in 
the church and the son of a prominent United Brethren in Christ clergyman. 

‘“‘This comes from Fund Raising Report of Lebanon Valley College that is found in the College 
archives. 

‘““The General Conference discussion of the social program of the colleges is from Official 
Proceeding of the Thirty-Ninth Session (Fourth since Union) of the General Conference of the 
Evangelical United Brethren Church (Dayton, Ohio: Otterbein Press, 1958), 454-455. 

‘““'The financial figures come from reports of the College treasurer that are found in the Col- 
lege archives. 


122 


“This material is taken from the September 9, 1961, minutes of the Committee on Policy 
and Program. 

“The information regarding the formation of The United Methodist Church is from John G. 
McEllhenney’s “The Four Tides of United Methodism,” 200 Years of United Methodism; An 
Illustrated History (Madison, N.J.: Drew University, 1984), 70-71. 

Lebanon Valley College Catalog, 1970-1971, 111-113. 

““See The Plan and Basis of Union for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, 31. 

““This account is based on conversations with President John Synodinos, Rev. Dale Owens, 
who was the conference treasurer, and Dr. Howard Applegate, professor emeritus of history, 
who was present at the meeting. 

“"'In 1989, the College moved from conference-elected trustees, who represented the 
church, to all trustees being elected by the College Board of Trustees as trustees-at-large. 

™The erosion of interest has taken place in other denominations. See Merrimon Cuming- 
gin. Uneasy Partners: The College and Church (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994). 

“"For a more detailed exploration of the effects of professionalism on the church and col- 
lege, see Russell F. Richey, “Connectionalism and College,” Quarterly Review, Winter 1998, 
346-350. 

™“The information regarding religious life on campus comes from a 201 1 interview of the 
College chaplain. Dr. Paul Fullmer. There are five foci to the religious program: worship, 
study groups, performance groups, service, and fun. 

“A new and ever more inspiring future” are words of Judge J.B. McPherson. They were 
uttered on June 15, 1892, at the 25th anniversary of the College. 


123 





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Chapter 14 

The Mute Stones Speak: 

A Brief Architectural History 
of Lebanon Valley College 

G. Daniel Massad 


I 


I f you think of architecture as a kind of visual memory for a community, 
then it is safe to say that all alumni who graduated from Lebanon Valley 
College before 1905 would experience something akin to amnesia if they 
were to make a ghostly appearance at a present-day reunion. Not one existing 
structure on campus would jog their memory, because all of Lebanon Valley 
Colleges 19th century buildings have been leveled, moved, or destroyed by fire.' 

The College’s first home was a hand-me-down — a three-story square box with a 
cupola built in 1857-1858 and bought from the Annville Academy in 1866, the 
year the College was born. It was located in what is now a bit of “green space” 
between Maud P. Laughlin Hall and the AnnviUe United Methodist Church. In 
1867, the College bought land that included its first campus — the eastern half 
of what is now called the Academic Quad — and it built on that land its first new 
building. “New College,” or “Penitentiary Hall” as students dubbed it, contained 
classrooms, administrative offices, a men’s dormitory, a bell tower, and even an 
elevator. It was a grand building for a brand-new college, although perhaps not 
quite as grand as the drawing in the 1867-1868 Catalogue suggests. But its en- 
tire footprint, including its 1890 north wing, now lies underneath the founda- 
tion of the Administration Building/Humanities Center. 

A modest frame structure was built in 1883 to house the natural sciences, 
music, the fine arts, and the library. It was moved off the quad to make way for 
Engle Hall, which was built beginning in 1898 for the College’s Conservatory 
of Music. Freshmen entering as late as 1971 would recognize Engle Hall — a 
monumental brownstone with classical porches — but in 1973, Bertha Brossman 
Blair Music Center took its place. 

In 1905, the College awarded degrees to the first graduating class who would 
have been able to recognize today at least one architectural survival from their 
days on campus. The Carnegie Library, begun in 1904, was the second of six 


125 



Carnegie Library 


structures built during the presidency of the charismatic and controversial 
Hervin Ulysses Roop [1897-1906]. Searching for funds to support his vision of 
an expanding campus and student body, Roop boldly — and perhaps naively — 
applied to the Carnegie Foundation for a gift toward a library. Up to that point 
in the foundation’s history, library bequests were given only to towns and cities, 
and requests from colleges and universities were routinely refused.*' But Roop 
persisted, and the College ultimately received one of only 108 libraries given to 
North American schools. Roop even managed to elicit another $5,000 above 
the original grant, without which, he wrote: “...the building would suffer much 
in beauty.” Roop successfully argued that the beauty of a building is an impor- 
tant tool for “cultivating the aesthetic sense.”'*' 

It is useful to remember that Carnegie libraries were neither free nor cut from 
the same pattern. Recipients were required not only to come up with match- 
ing funds, but also to secure their own professional architects. Although the 
general arrangement of the Lebanon Valley College library had to conform to 
up-to-date standards for library planning (hence, the semi-circular stack area 
on its west end), its overall design, materials, and ornamentation were placed 
in the hands of Abner A. Ritcher. Born in 1872 in North Annville Township 
and trained as an architect in Lebanon, Ritcher began a proliftc architectural 
practice in 1900 that would expand into the mid- Atlantic region. 


126 


A master of several historic revival styles, Richter also contributed to what 
came to be known as the American Renaissance, an era of building design and 
city planning — roughly from 1876 to 1917 — that used the visual grammar and 
compositional principles of the Italian Renaissance as its touchstone in order 
to create “a whole new form of American art.”" Ritcher s library — in its details, 
symmetry, and careful balance of its many parts — belongs to that impulse. But 
other stylistic features give it an unexpected lightness of touch: the deep Crafts- 
man-style eaves, the Arts and Crafts script over the door, and the Dutch bond 
pattern in its dark red brick, which alternates a matte with a high-glaze surface. 
The overall result is a formal composition of mass and detail with a delicate 
sparkle and warmth that declares its independence from European precedent. 

How or why the College chose Ritcher for the Carnegie project is unknown. 

But it is clear that even the elegant and state-of-the-art plans for the library 
could not change the fact that the Lebanon Valley College campus was still, al- 
most four decades after its birth, a hodgepodge of buildings from different eras, 
not an ensemble. Change would begin, suddenly and violently, on Christmas 
Eve 1904, when “New College” was destroyed by fire. 

Less than three weeks later, on Jan. 12, 1905, the College’s executive commit- 
tee made a decision that would radically alter Lebanon Valley College’s built 
environment. Ritcher, whose Carnegie Library had not yet been completed, was 
hired as the sole architect of a cluster of new buildings — “an administration 
building, a boy’s dormitory, a science hall, and a central heating and lighting 
plant.” That list would later be revised to also include a women’s dormitory 
and a gymnasium. For the first and only time in its history, the majority of 
the structures that house the full spectrum of life at the College would be the 
product of the experienced imagination of one architect. The result would be a 
family of buildings grouped in a cohesive arrangement, each one unique, but all 
of them talking to one another in the same language. 

Was this Roop’s vision from the beginning? Was he, as some believed, respon- 
sible for the fire and the influx of insurance money into his building fund? We 
will never know. AU accusations against him were dropped after his sudden 
resignation in 1905, and the Board of Trustees formally praised him, at least 
on paper, for “...a handsome group of modern university buildings nearly 
completed.”'' The new Administration Building, in a hybrid style called by the 
press “Tudor Gothic and Cambridge,” opened in 1907. It was quickly followed 
by a men’s dormitory in the “Oxford-Cambridge” style (later called Kreider 
Hall, razed and replaced by the Garber Science Center in 1982) and a women’s 
dormitory in the “Elizabethan” style (North Hall, later called Keister Hall, razed 
and replaced by Frederic K. MiUer Chapel in 1966). The central heating and 
lighting plant, stiU sitting squarely on the south edge of the Academic Quad, 
was sheathed in a lively Dutch bond brick pattern that connected it visually 


127 



Administration Building/Humanities Center 


with Carnegie, Kreider, and Keister, and its Dutch gable repeated the gables of 
the Humanities Center. Science HaU" and Brightbill Gymnasium stalled under 
construction, their costs exceeding the funds that poured into the College after 
the fire. But Ritcher’s campus, dubbed by the Lebanon Daily News as “a greater 
Lebanon Valley College,” would serve its community well and strengthen its 
reputation without any major additions or subtractions for almost 50 years.™ 



Boys' Dormitory (until 1957), later Kreider Hall 


128 





II 


W ith the post- World War II American economy and population 

booming, Lebanon Valley College found itself straining to serve the 
largest student body in its history thus far. Ritcher s nest of build- 
ings — well -worn on the inside, dense with ivy on the outside — could barely 
contain their new brood. Under Presidents Clyde A. Lynch [1932-1950] and 
Frederic K. Miller [1951-1967], new land was acquired, seven new buildings 
were built, and the Kreider Manufacturing Co. building (now Derickson Hall) 
was purchased and transformed into Science Hall. 

1950 saw the first addition to Ritcher s core: the Lynch Physical Education 
Building (now Clyde A. Lynch Memorial Hall). In 1957, the campus was noisy 
with hammers and busy with new dedications: Mary Capp Green Hall, College 
Dining Hall (now the south half of the Allan W. Mund College Center), and the 
Gossard Memorial Library (whose structural skeleton supports the Vernon and 
Doris Bishop Library). The opening of Vickroy Hall in 1961 and Hammond 
Hall in 1965 completed the first incarnation of the newly envisioned Residen- 
tial Quad, north of Sheridan Avenue. 

The addition of the Gossard Library made way for the interior reconfiguration 
of the original Carnegie Library into a student/faculty center, its exterior shell 
left intact. The decision to preserve the exterior was far from unanimous.™ 
“Adaptive reuse” of historic architecture was not as common in the 1950s and 
1960s as it is today, and voices were raised in favor of leveling Carnegie. 



Allan W. Mund College Center 


129 




Gossard Memorial Library 


The decision to jettison Ritcher’s pre-World War I architectural vocabulary 
in the design of aU of the College’s new structures met with strong support. 

Post World War II America was in the process of fully engaging with the new 
aesthetic principles of Modernism, which rejected all past historical styles and 
embraced simplicity, straight lines, limited ornamentation and color, and, of 
course, significantly lower construction costs. The plain shoebox designs of 
the new Residential Quad, Gossard Library, and Clyde A. Lynch ’18 Memorial 
Hall (before its redesign in 1989) were an integral part of a national trend that 
affected the built environment of almost every American city, town, and college 
campus. There were critics of this sea-change, but the majority of Americans 
were hungry for progress, eager to construct a brave new world out of freshly 
invented forms, and dismissive of aU the trappings of the European past. It 
wasn’t just that Ritcher’s designs — labeled “modern” in their own time — now 
seemed dated, unadventurous, or merely quaint. To many people, at the 
extreme end of the pendulum’s swing in taste, they were simply ugly. Modern 
architecture’s “International Style,” as it was first called in 1932, constituted a 
new kind of formal beauty. 

It has been argued that this culture shift was a form of culture war. Modernism’s 
proponents were not only building on previously undeveloped land, but they 
were aggressively crowding their sleek forms against surviving relics of all those 
19th century historical revivals. Many went one step further — leveling those 
revivals and building anew on their sites. Against this background, and keeping 
in mind the College’s long-range plan to separate its academic and residential 
functions, it is not surprising — even if we nostalgically regret it — that Miller’s 
administration was the first to take that final step in self-transformation: the 
removal of a historic building. 

130 



Keister Hall (once Ladies Hall) was leveled in 1965 and replaced in 1966 by 
Miller Chapel. Although the chapel’s usefulness was questioned at the time by 
many members of the faculty, its design and the loss of Keister caused only a 
few ripples of discontent — possibly because its architect, Howell Lewis Shay, 
took the middle ground. Stylistically, the chapel is modernism’s take on the 
19th century Gothic Revival church. Shay translated the curved and pointed 
arch that has come to symbolize Gothic architecture into the pure straight lines 
favored by the new International Style. Although its sharply contrasting lights 
and darks bespeak the mid-1960s, the peaks and triangles that march across 
it echo the gable of the Humanities Center’s west roof line, and its bold mix 
of materials, textures, and colors are a reminder, however distant, of Ritcher’s 
elaboration of the American Renaissance style. 

Under Frederick R Sample’s leadership [1968-1983], Silver and Funkhouser 
halls were added to the growing list of dormitories. The College Dining Hall 
was expanded into the Mund College Center. A pedestrian bridge was built 
over the railroad tracks to connect the main campus with playing fields on 
tracts of land acquired between 1945 and 1970. And three more historic build- 
ings were demolished: Kreider HaU, Engle Hall, and the Annville Academy 
building. 

Alumni from the 1950s still vividly recall the battered interior of the men’s 
dormitory, Kreider Hall, and the slimy floor of its cave-like basement 
showers.™ Repair and renovation expenses exceeded Kreider’s usefulness, 
and it was replaced in 1982 by the original Garber Science Center, a window- 
less monolith visually softened by the play of off-white stucco against red brick. 
In a game of musical chairs, the Music Department moved temporarily into the 
old Science Hall and the church north of it (a College purchase in 1971), while 
Engle Hall came down, and the Bertha Brossman Blair Music Center went up. 



Bertha Brossman Blair Music Center 


131 



Perhaps no one really missed Engle’s overcrowded classrooms and its clank- 
ing chorus of radiators during winter concerts and theater performances, but 
the new occupants of Blair would miss Engle’s many windows, and alumni 
recall the beginning of a mood of regret in the face of the loss of so much 
architectural memory. That mood turned to protest, on and off campus, when 
the Sample administration decided in 1976 to abandon and level the College’s 
original home, the Annville Academy building on Main Street, again because 
of the expense of renovation and the burden of upkeep.* The loss of the Acad- 
emy, which had endured many phases of adaptive reuse in its 125-year history, 
would constitute a wake-up call for both the College and the town. The found- 
ing of the Friends of Old Annville in 1979 and the successful bid, also in 1979, 
to designate Annville’s Main Street a National Historic District began to take 
root in this controversial moment in town/gown relations.” 

Ill 


T here are times when the arc of history seems to move in a spiral. By the 
mid-1980s, Lebanon Valley College had come to resemble, in several 
important ways, the college it was before the 1904 Christmas Eve fire. 

Its campus was again a motley crew of buildings from different eras without a 
common visual vocabulary. From inside Blair’s floor-to-ceiling lobby windows, 
an elegant panoramic view was framed of the Academic Quad — from the north 
end of the Humanities Center to the square-cut front of Clyde A. Lynch ’18 
Memorial Hall. But from across the campus, Blair and Humanities looked like 
sworn enemies without a word to say to one another. Even James W. Buchman’s 
1977 outdoor sculpture “Arkabutla” — despite its nod to ancient architectural 
forms — could not broker a rapprochement between the coolness of Blair’s 
strictly a-historical solid geometry and the warmth of Ritcher’s Humanities 
Center, with its witty hybridization of several historical revivals. 

“Only connect,” wrote E.M. Forster in the novel Howard’s End. But how could 
the College connect with a new generation of students? And, through its built 
environment, how could it declare its highest intentions and weave its past into 
its future? 

To President John A. Synodinos [1988-1996], those questions were inter- 
related. “It is the trustee’s goal,” he said in a 1989 interview, “that the look and 
feel of the physical plant be a reflection of the high order of academic life... at 
LVC.””‘ And that upgrade, he urged, would attract new students and nurture 
the lives of everyone touched by it. This argument is very close to the aesthetic 
philosophy underpinning the growing edge of American architecture ca. 1900, 
whose practitioners, including Pitcher, believed that the physical worlds we 
build for ourselves exert a powerful influence for the good on our intellectual. 


132 


emotional, and spiritual lives. President Roop expressed this same belief when 
he urged the Carnegie Foundation in 1904 to underwrite the physical beauty of 
the College’s new library. 

But definitions of beauty change from generation to generation. The juggernaut 
of the lean International Style had lost its impetus, and postmodernism was in 
the throes of embracing bits and pieces of many earlier historical styles, with 
classicism at the top of the list. The pendulum was swinging, at least back to 
center, with ornamentation, pattern, legibility, a lightness of touch, and a wide 
palette of colors and textures returning to the architectural drawing board. 

“Less is more,” the dictum of Miles Van der Rohe, one of Modernism’s mae- 
stros, had already been dismissed in the late 1960s by the father of postmod- 
ernism, Robert Venturi, who quipped, “Less is a bore.”™* 

As a result of these shifting aesthetic standards and a new administration, Leba- 
non Valley College’s entire physical plant underwent a wide range of changes. 
Buildings were painted and tuckpointed. A major landscaping project removed 
old growth, planted new trees and shrubs, and built beds of flowers. Power lines 
were buried, and a premodern entrance gate was added where Route 934 and 
Sheridan Avenue cross, as a bookend to the 1914 gate on the east edge of cam- 
pus. Street lamps, also premodern in design, appeared in both quads, which 
were now crisscrossed with a web of concrete walks that replaced old macadam 
or footpaths worn through the lawn. 

The exterior renovation of Clyde A. Lynch ’18 Memorial Hall was relatively 
subtle. Door surrounds were restyled, and a new glass-walled entrance wel- 
comed visitors from the side facing Route 934, with a peaked top that echoed 
the new peaked pediment over the east entrance, which was itself a close 
relative of the triangles on the facades of Miller Chapel and the Humanities 
Center. The minor revisions of the Clyde A. Lynch ’18 Memorial Hall exterior 
heralded the major transformation of the Gossard Library’s square box into the 
multi-bayed Vernon and Doris Bishop Library, with more peaked gables on its 
campus side and an expansive rounded bay pushing out of its east side toward 
the semicircular west side of Carnegie — a new library in earnest conversation 
with an old library. Following Ritcher’s lead, layers of different colors and mate- 
rials wrapped the outer skin; “The Truth Shall Set You Free” was carved across 
the south facade; and an emphatic entranceway invited visitors to a front door 
sheltered under the newly minted Rismiller Tower. 

Adjacent to the Rismiller Tower, Synodinos took a relatively small but ir- 
reversible step reminiscent of his predecessors and ordered the removal of a 
large piece of abstract sculpture — known on campus as the “bicycle rack.” He 
replaced it with “Cuewe-Pehelle” by Audrey Flack, a nationally important artist 
in postmodernism’s rebirth of realism. 


133 



Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery and Zimmerman Recital Hall 


Other major changes under Synodinos were primarily internal. Derickson Hall 
was born out of the failure of the College’s first for-profit subsidiary — the re- 
design of the old Science Hall into condominiums. The Gothic Revival church 
to the north of it was completely revamped, from its slate roof to its basement 
HVAC system. Under the careful guidance of the Pennsylvania Academy of the 
Fine Arts, the interior morphed into the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery and 
Zimmerman Recital Hall. With the Edward H. Arnold Sports Center in place 
the year before the arrival of Synodinos, the bulk of Clyde A. Lynch ’18 Memo- 
rial Hall — except for its central basketball court and basement locker rooms — 
was converted into much needed classrooms and offices. 

Under President G. David PoUick [1996-2004], a wide concrete walk on the 
north/south axis of the main quad was created, leading to a postmodern revival 
of a 19th century gazebo, which was planted in front of the stark rows of mid- 
century modern windows of Mary Capp Green Hall. And to the east of Vickroy 
Hall, as envisioned by John Synodinos, a previously undeveloped and under- 
used space bloomed into the Peace Garden, with a lifelike bronze statue of “Hot 
Dog” Frank — a longtime local friend of several generations of students — qui- 
etly presiding over it. 

Pollick energetically pursued the College’s long-range goal of relocating the 
entire athletics program on land north of the railroad tracks. During that pro- 
cess, Pollick would also radically expand the College’s fence line to the north. 


134 


on both sides of Route 934. A total of 65 acres would eventually contain the 
Heilman Center and the new gym [now Louis A. Sorrentino Gymnasium], 
both structures stylistically the result of a postmodern adaptation of rural 
architectural motifs. A small sea of landscaped parking lots was added, along 
with a network of concrete walks that connect them on the east with playing 
fields and more parking, and on the west with a gracefully sleek faux suspen- 
sion bridge (Fasick Bridge) that spans Route 934 and serves as a path to the 
McGill Baseball Park, with its stylistic echoes of Chicago’s Wrigley Field and the 
Roman Coliseum. The Rohland Farm buildings on the slope north of Heilman 
were also purchased, along with 107 acres of farmland, in part for the purpose 
of forestalling suburban development and maintaining a bond between the 
College and the lush farmland of the Lebanon Valley. 

The Residential Quad also grew eastward, culminating in the Dellinger and 
Marquette halls complex, with its lively stepped facades, subtle variations in 
color and texture, and asymmetrical massing of forms that deftly strike a bal- 
ance between old and new. By contrast, its “modern” neighbors seem slightly 
old-fashioned. A fountain in its modestly scaled central piazza privatizes the 
public space with a wall of soft sound — a trick the ancient Romans employed — 
and a wide concrete path runs 300 paces west of the fountain to the plaza ad- 
jacent to Mund. If the path is a string, its beads are the seven major dorms and 
the three residential houses that now constitute the full growth of the College’s 
initial plan to separate its academic and domestic quads. 



“Hot Dog” Frank Aftosmes statue in the Peace Garden 


135 


Pollick also fulfilled the previous administration’s desire to integrate the two 
quads. Two blocks of Sheridan Avenue were widened into a boulevard. Trees 
and flowers were planted down its center, bump-outs were added, and cross- 
walks raised to the level of sidewalks became speed bumps. The effect was 
immediate. It is now possible for drivers, stalled on Sheridan Avenue, to watch, 
with whatever patience they can muster, Lebanon Valley College students 
slowly navigating the crosswalks, heads down, reading books or texting friends, 
oblivious to the wider world and utterly at home on a campus that now func- 
tions, at least experientially, as a unified whole. 

The building of the new gym attached to the Heilman Center set the stage for 
the last phase of the renewal of Clyde A. Lynch ’18 Memorial Hall: the creation 
of a common area out of its central basketball court and the final development 
of classroom spaces. Tono Architects’ award-winning design of the Synodinos 
Commons is a vivacious, almost frenetic ring of premodern building facades 
turned outside in. An open-riser staircase swoops into its two-story atrium 
and roofs a stylish coffee bar below, enisled on a bamboo floor. Even the vast 
concrete curve of its west wall suggests, in this context, just one more playful 
reference to a past historical style: retro-modernism. 

Begun under PoUick, the commons was dedicated in 2005 by his successor, 
Stephen C. MacDonald [2004-2012], whose first major task was the complete 
overhaul of the Garber Science Center, a project in the long-range plans of his 
two predecessors and already in the design stage. “Have nothing in your house 
that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful,” preached William 
Morris in the late 19th century. But by the beginning of the 21st century, the 
Garber Science Center could not be considered useful, beautiful, or even safe. 
Its renovation and expansion into the Neidig-Garber Science Center retained 
most of the original shell and floor structure, positioned a massive ventilation 
system on its roof, punched windows through its walls, and reconfigured its 
interior spaces. A new two-story, light-filled entrance angled out of its north 
side, inviting visitors into the center of the Academic Quad. Stripes of darkened 
brick added a subtle horizontal component that echoed the Bishop Library’s 
echoes of the Humanities Center. The conversations between buildings seemed 
to be growing livelier. 

From its founding, Lebanon Valley College has relied heavily on its nearest 
neighbors. Many private houses adjacent to campus have been absorbed by the 
College and renovated into offices and dorms, or leveled when they stood in 
the way of expansion. Fifteen homes from the 19th and early 20th centuries still 
function today as offices, student residences, and the Shroyer Health Center. 
Maintenance offices and shops now occupy the Rohland Farm buildings. The 
gradual post- World War II acquisition and preservation of most of the single- 
family houses on College Avenue has succeeded in creating a visual link be- 


136 


tween the College and the town, and 
it has also deepened the overall effect 
of the historic east end of the campus. 



Early in the MacDonald presidency, 
the College decided to remove its 
presence from the north side of Main 
Street and sell its four houses be- 
tween College Avenue and Route 934 
to the Annville Economic Develop- 
ment Authority. That decision neces- 
sitated the building of Stanson Hall in 
2009, the first new dormitory located ^ome: Today, 

outside of the original rectangle of it is the Shroyer Health Center. 

the Residential Quad. MacDonald 
told Spillman Farmer, Stanson’s 

architect, that he wanted the structure to connect stylistically not only with the 
restrained postmodernism of the Bishop Library, but also with the premod- 
ern design vocabulary of the surviving domestic architecture around it. The 
result brings the College full circle. Stanson is the first completely new building 
on campus, the design of which intentionally pursues the interplay between 
historical detail and overall form, as well as the balance between variety and 
homogeneity that governs the composition of Ritcher’s Carnegie Library. 


This is the lesson to be learned from Ritcher’s American Renaissance era and 
our postmodern era: sometimes we need to glance back to imagine our way 
forward. MacDonald’s 2009 rededication of the newly revived Administration 
Building/Humanities Center underscores that lesson. The building’s fenestra- 
tion was returned to its original 1905 design, its mellow brick cleaned and re- 
paired, and the broken bits of its terra cotta and stone ornamentation replaced. 
It cannot be a surprise that the College’s first major restoration project of a 
historic building occurred under the leadership of a president with a Ph.D. in 
history. However, the College has never built its buildings in isolation, and its 
presidents have always charted its course through the crosscurrents of changing 
national taste and values. 


If architecture is our community’s visual memory, perhaps — as today’s wind 
seems to be whispering — we need to treasure that memory. Doing so not to 
return to the lost past, which is impossible, nor to be bound by it, but to learn 
new lessons from our elders and their surviving monuments — lessons we can- 
not afford to forego. But sometimes we need to do more than glance back. We 
also need to reclaim what we can of our own cultural heritage so that it can 
continue to speak to us, to help us make those visual and visceral connections 
through time that uniquely enrich us, and to pass its provision on to the future. 


137 


Chapter 14 Endnotes 

' 1 12 College Avenue, a frame house in the Queen Anne style, was built in 1888 for Lebanon 
Valley Colleges fourth president, Edmund S. Lorenz. Two succeeding presidents, Keph- 
art and Bierman, also lived there. Functioning as both a private home and as a gathering 
spot for students and faculty, it was aptly nicknamed “the presidents house” in the College 
magazine. The Forum. But the property was owned privately by a member of the Colleges 
Board of Trustees, not by the College. The College purchased it in 1964, and the English 
Department was housed in it until 1996. 

“The Carnegie Foundation gave a total of 1,679 libraries to North American towns and cities. 

■“The 1904 fire that destroyed the first Administration Building took a heavy toll on Lebanon 
Valley Colleges historical records, but Roops correspondence with the Carnegie Founda- 
tion has been preserved in the foundations archives. 

■''Richard Guy Wilson et al. The American Renaissance, 1876-1917 (New York: The Brooklyn 
Museum, 1979), 167. 

'Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 122. 

''Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 126. There is a puzzling inconsistency in Wallaces data. 
The executive committee minutes of January 12, 1905 state that Ritcher would prepare 
architectural plans for, among other buildings, “a science hall,” but in the spring of 1906 
Wallace reports (without indicating his source) that William Weikel described himself as 
both architect and contractor for the “abandoned Science Building.” It is possible, of course, 
that Weikel co-designed the building with Ritcher. 

'"In 1912, the United Brethren Church of Annville dedicated its new Gothic Revival sanctu- 
ary at the corner of College Avenue and Main Street. It was designed by Abner A. Ritcher, 
according to the dedication program in the Lebanon Valley College archives (“College 
Church” file). The church was never owned by the College and clearly not designed by 
Ritcher as a part of the ensemble of College buildings it abuts. However, the College’s com- 
pulsory chapel services were held there from 1912 until the dedication of Miller Chapel in 
1966, and during that period Ritcher ’s United Brethren Church was known on campus as 
“College Church.” 

'"‘From Clark Carmean H’85, in a conversation with the author. 

■'From Dr. Arthur L. Ford ’59, in a conversation with the author. 

' The Lebanon Daily News of March 6, 1975, reported that Michael Schropp, president of the 
Historic Preservation Trust of Lebanon County, had written a letter to President Sample 
protesting the decision to demolish “South HaU,” as the Annville Academy building was 
then called. Schropp referred to the demolition as a “drastic measure which I believe would 
greatly damage LVC’s historic identity.” 

"From Tanya Richter, in a conversation with the author. 

"■ The Valley, Summer/Fall 1989, 2. 

"■■Wendy Steiner, Venus in Exile: The Rejection of Beauty in 20th Century Art (Chicago: Uni- 
versity of Chicago Press, 2001), 117. 


138 



Jeanne and Edward H. Arnold Health Professions Pavilion, opening in 2018. 



139 


Chapter 15 

This Ringing Song We Raise: 
Music at The Valley 

Mark L. Mecham 


We shall not cease from exploration, 

And the end of all our exploring 
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time. 

-T.S. Eliot, Little Giddling 
from Four Quartets 

O n Oct. 27, 1990, 1 was to address the College’s Board of Trustees as 
the newly minted chair of the Music Department. In preparation, I 
read the 1969 University of Michigan doctoral dissertation by Paul 
G. Fisher ’47, Music: A Dominant Force in the First Century of Lebanon Valley 
College, and a Feb. 5, 1990, consultant report by Dr. Eileen T. Cline, dean of the 
Conservatory of Music at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. I 
did so as an attempt to “know the place [that is, Lebanon VaUey College] for the 
first time.” 

Following the resignation of Dr. Robert C. Lau ’65, Dr. George D. Curfman ’53 
was appointed interim chair of the Music Department for the 1989-1990 aca- 
demic year. During that year. Dr. Cline made a consultant visit to advise Dean 
William J. McGill and the Music Department faculty regarding possible futures 
for music at The Valley. Spring 1990 saw the retirements of Professor William 
H. Fairlamb and Dr. Pierce A. Getz ’51,' as well as a national search for a new 
department chair, which resulted in my coming to the College. 

Having studied the Fisher and Cline documents, I found myself haunted by the 
memory of former VaUey music leaders — from Herbert Oldham, first director 
of the Conservatory of Music,'' to Ruth Engle Bender ’15, Mary Edith Gillespie, 
and Robert W. Smith ’39. Each visionary, in his or her distinctive way, led the 
“Conserv” and department to be “a dominant force” during the first century of 
Lebanon Valley College history. 


140 



The First Century 


T wo of the original five founding professors in 1866 had music back- 
grounds: Miss Ella L. Walker and Miss Lizzie M. Rigler.“ In 1879, under 
the guidance of Miss Euretta A. Avery, teacher of instrumental music 
and voice culture, music was organized as a department." Plans for a Conser- 
vatory of Music were laid during the presidency of Edmund S. Lorenz [1887- 
1889], whose business interests included the Lorenz Music Publishing Compa- 
ny of Dayton, Ohio. In 1898, the Conservatory was founded and construction 
began on Engle Hall, a gift from Benjamin Engle, a Harrisburg contractor and 
College trustee from 1898 to 191 1. It would be home to the new music unit for 
73 years.'' Herbert Oldham, a British-trained musician with additional studies 
in Frankfurt and Paris, was appointed the first director. 


Music was a diploma program at The Valley until 1915, when the first bachelor 
of music degree was presented to Annville native Ora Belle Bachman. Alumna 
Ruth Engle Bender, who earned a bachelor of arts degree from LVC in 1915, 
went on to lead the “Conserv” from 1924-1930. It was during her leadership 
that the degree in music education was developed.''* 


The Valley Music Education Program came to fruition in 1932 with an applica- 
tion for accreditation that was viewed so favorably by the State Department of 
Education and its visiting team that The Valley was authorized to both certify 
music teachers and to prepare music supervisors.''*' This accomplishment was 
a first among many during the administration of Mary E. Gillespie, who came 
as director of the Conservatory in 1930 and continued in that capacity until an 
illness in the 1956-1957 academic year.''**' 


Another highlight of the Gillespie years was the accreditation of the music 
degree programs by the National Association of Schools of Music [NASM] in 
1941." The original certificate of accreditation is displayed outside the chairs 
office in Bertha Brossman Blair Music Center. The certificate was signed by 
Howard Hanson, then NASM president, as well as director of the Eastman 
School of Music and one of America’s great composers. Dr. Hanson returned 
to The Valley on Feb. 16, 1975, to give the dedication address for the newly 
completed Blair Music Center." Founded in 1924, NASM accredits more than 
600 college and university undergraduate and graduate music programs nation- 
wide.” It is a tribute to Miss Gillespie, the faculty, “Conserv” students, and the 
administration of President Clyde A. Lynch [1932-1950] to have achieved this 
recognition, which has been maintained for the past 75 years. 


Stories of Miss Gillespie’s leadership and leadership style are legend. 'They are as 
numerous and varied as the number of colleagues and students who knew her. 
It is not an overstatement to say that she was beloved, and in 1995, the Presser- 


142 



(c.): Mary E. Gillespie, Director of the Conservatory, 1930-1957 


Gillespie Music Technology Center (formerly the piano lab) was named in her 
honor. Much of what music is today at LVC can be directly attributed to Miss 
Gillespies foresight, persistence, integrity, expertise, and dogged determination. 


Since ig66 

Engle Hall was demolished in the fall of 1972 to make way for musics new 
home. During the 18-month construction process, the faculty, staff, and stu- 
dents were dispersed to the old men’s dormitory and to facilities on the west 
side of Route 934: the old Science Hall (now Derickson Hall A) and two former 
Lutheran churches (the one now the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery and Zim- 
merman Recital Hall, and the other replaced by the parking lot north of the 
Pencil Building). In the December 1972 edition of The Review, the lead story 
was titled “Department Without A Home.” The story featured a cover photo 
of a group of student musicians practicing outdoors on the site of “Old” Engle 
Hall.“ 


A monument to the leadership and vision of Robert W. Smith, Blair Music 
Center — named in honor of trustee and businesswoman Bertha Brossman 
Blair — was 15 years in the planning. First conceived during the presidency of 
Frederic K. Miller [1951-1967] and brought to reality by President Frederick 
P. Sample [1968-1983], Blair Music Center is a testament in brick, mortar, 
concrete, glass, and steel to the vital role of music in The Valley experience. The 
new center for music was occupied on Oct. 14, 1974, and dedicated on Feb. 16, 
1975.“‘ 


143 



The dedication included four days of music performances by College ensembles 
and guest soloists, the Curtis String Quartet, and two performances by the U.S. 
Army Band and Chorus. The service of dedication included a commissioned 
work by Vaclav Nelhybel, Psalm 150, performed by the LVC Concert Choir and 
Brass Ensemble, with the keynote address presented by Howard Hanson. The 
final performance featured the LVC Jazz Ensemble and Studio Orchestra, led by 
trustee Walt Levinsky ’51, with guest jazz pianist Dick Hyman, who performed 
his composition Concerto for Piano and Orchestra.'^'' At the time of dedication, 
there were 190 students in the Music Department who were served by 14 full- 
time and 10 part-time faculty members.” 

One of the distinctive features of the new center was a master recording com- 
plex. The Review of January 1975 included a photograph of Professor Frank E. 
Stachow at the central master control.”'' In addition to founding the Clarinet 
Choir in 1958 — an LVC tradition that continues to this day — Stachow was fas- 
cinated by electronic music and the impact of new technologies of music teach- 
ing and learning.™' In 1981, a sound recording technology program was piloted 
as an independent major. In 1983, it became a degree program, boldly putting 
Lebanon Valley College at the forefront of the music technology movement. 
John J. Uhl ’79, director of media services, was the primary instructor in the 
new program. By 1993, the program grew to the point that a full-time director 
was hired. Professor Barry Hill, and the program was renamed music recording 
technology. In 201 1, it had become the second largest program in the depart- 
ment. Many of these programmatic initiatives occurred during the leadership 
of Dr. Robert C. Lau ’65.™'' 


By their fruits...''''' 

T he headlines reveal the story: 
David Tobias, Oakcrest High 
School’s band director for 47 
years, prepares for his final spring 
concert, and after 47 years as Oak- 
crest’s maestro, Tobias looks forward 
to a grand finale.’^ David A. Tobias 
’59 became an instrumental music 
educator at Oakcrest High School 
in Mays Landing, N.J., in 1964 and 
founded the Marching Ambassadors 
that fall. He arrived at Oakcrest after 
two years of teaching in the Northern 
Lebanon School District, where he 
Ruth Engle Bender, Class of 1915 taught elementary and junior high 

144 



school instrumental music, and assisted Harlan A. Daubert ’49 with the high 
school marching band. This was followed by two years at Teachers College, 
Columbia University, where Tobias earned the master of arts degree in music 
education and music performance, and studied with percussion legends Saul 
Goodman and Morris Goldberg at Julliard. 

Tobias is representative of Valley music graduates. In 1955, there were not 
many college music schools in the region. You could choose “huge or inti- 
mate,” a phrase Tobias still uses to describe college music options for interested 
students seeking his advice. He chose intimate. Matriculating at Lebanon Valley 
College allowed the young David to be a “weekender,” returning home to play 
gigs with the Wes Fisher Orchestra and other groups and to make some good 
money. 

David’s mentors at The Valley included Miss Gillespie, Mrs. Bender, James 
“Doc” Thurmond, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Tom Lanese.™ Tobias noted: 

My weaknesses were in the areas of ear training and sight 
singing, especially diction and keyboard skills. I had many 
one-on-one sessions with Miss Gillespie, who taught me how 
to hear Perfect fourths. Major thirds, etc., whose teaching 
methods I use to this day with my own students. The same 
with Mrs. Bender [on piano] and Frank Stachow [ear train- 
ing and sight singing and clarinet] . I was hot [stuff] on the 
drums, but I had to have a melodic instrument and clarinet 
it was. Tom Lanese taught me to be an orchestral percussion- 
ist. He was difficult to follow but he was incredibly musical. 

Doc Thurmond told me that you come on really strong, and 
you gotta learn how to get along with others.’ I toured all four 
years with the band and choir. Bob Smith had me help with 
the percussion methods course. This was an area of strength, 
being able to diagnose and then fix problems, especially when 
student teaching at the Milton Hershey School. 

These experiences were invaluable when Tobias went to Columbia in 1961, 
where he was a graduate teaching assistant, and throughout his lengthy teach- 
ing career. 

On June 30, 2011, when Tobias’ retirement took effect, he had completed 50 
years of teaching, affecting three generations of students and more than 5,000 
young lives. Tobias, with those who established The Valley’s music reputation in 
previous generations, figuratively represents nearly 2,000 living music alumni. 
Their collective impact is exponential: from Irene Ranck Christman ’39, who 
had a public school teaching career and became executive director of the Penn- 


145 


sylvania Music Educators Association for many years, to her classmate Robert 
W. Smith, who taught public school, chaired LVC’s Music Department, and 
served as organist and minster of music at the First United Methodist Church 
of Hershey for more than 50 years.™' Interestingly, LVC alumnus, Shawn Gin- 
grich ’90, ’91 succeeded Smith at First United Methodist when Smith retired in 
November 1999. 

The Schlosser sisters, Verna Schlosser Sollenberger ’40 and Arlene Schlosser 
KeUer ’47, made distinctive contributions in their own ways: Verna at Annville- 
Cleona High School, where many Valley student teachers were placed, and at 
the Annville Church of the Brethren as choir director. Arlene had a multiple- 
choir program at the Midway Church of the Brethren for more than 50 years, 
and still works with a senior men’s choir at the Brethren Village Retirement 
Community in Lititz, Pa. 

Two Valley graduates served as back-to-back national presidents of The Na- 
tional Association for Music Education. Mary Eckert Hoffman ’48, professor 
emerita of music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and 1992 
LVC Distinguished Alumna, was president from 1980-1982. RusseU P. Getz ’49, 
professor emeritus of music at Gettysburg College, served from 1982-1984. 

Valley music alumni have been (and are) principal chair players in America’s 
finest orchestras, performed in military bands and choruses, taught and been 
leaders in multiple colleges and universities, led professional music organiza- 
tions, and authored books and textbooks. For example, David Willoughby ’55 
wrote one of the first world music texts. The World of Music, which is in its 7th 
edition. Music alumni are recording engineers, sound and graphic designers, 
lawyers, business owners and entrepreneurs, arts administrators, admission 
counselors, sound reinforcers, audio archivists, civic leaders, published com- 
posers, and arrangers. The list goes on and on. Their collective impact is ever 
expanding. 


The widow's mite...''''''" 

I n the mid-1990s, students in the Music Department were the direct benefi- 
ciaries of two remarkable estate gifts. The first of these endowments estab- 
lished The Clarence J. Demmy and Mildred E. Demmy Memorial Endowed 
Scholarship. Mrs. Demmy, a former Hershey Chocolate Factory employee who 
wrapped Hershey Kisses, passed away in January 1994. Her husband, Clarence, 
a plumber at Hershey Estates, died in 1982. The childless couple left $309,460 
to support scholarships for music students with disabilities. Her only connec- 
tion to Lebanon VaUey College was her regular attendance at Sunday afternoon 
concert events in Lutz Hall or Miller Chapel. Mildred, a resident of the United 
146 


Christian Church Home in North Annville, attended these recitals with area 
friends. Since 1996, dozens of students have benefitted from her generosity.™ 

The second estate funded The Mildred E. Myers ’30 Scholarship. Miss Myers, 
a resident of Palmyra, Pa., taught English at Annville-Cleona High School and 
was a lifelong church organist. Since 1997, her unexpected $200,000 gift has 
made it possible for upper- division students to continue their music studies 
based on musical merit and contributions to the Music Department. 

In 2006, The Burgner Endowed Fund for Chamber Music™ was established. 

It funds an annual chamber music event or residency, an annual instru- 
ment repair and acquisition allocation, and an instrumental professorship. 

Lt. Colonel Newton M. Burgner ’32 was a U.S. Air Force meteorologist and a 
lifelong church organist. Mrs. Adelaide Sanders Burgner ’43, a violist, was the 
first female member of the Reading Symphony Orchestra. Both completed 
their post-military careers as math teachers in the Lebanon School District. 
They endowed two additional scholarships at LVC: The Newton and Adelaide 
Burgner Endowed Professorship in Music and The Burgner Musical Instrument 
Endowed Fund. 

Since the mid-1990s, 28 music students each year have been recipients of 
Carmean Talent Awards, based on the excellence of the audition-for-admission 
(seven students per year retain the talent award based on progress toward a 
degree). D. Clark Carmean H’85 and Edna J. Carmean ’59, H’85 came to The 
Valley in 1933. Dr. Carmean, who followed Professor Edward Rutledge as a 
high school music teacher in Neodesha, Kan.,™ was hired to teach string mu- 
sic education and orchestra. In 1949, Clark moved into administration, serving 
as dean and director of admissions until his retirement in 1972. Edna was a 
constant presence on campus as a student, writer, and historian. She collaborat- 
ed with Professor Tom Lanese in the production of the 1966 centennial musi- 
cal, Sauerkraut and Boston Beans, which was presented at the Hershey Theatre. 
In addition to the music student talent awards funded through The D. Clark 
and Edna J. Carmean Scholarship Fund and The D. Clark and Edna J. Carmean 
String Ensemble Scholarship, the Carmeans established the first endowed chair 
in the department — The Carmean Endowed Chair Fund — and secured a wal- 
nut Steinway D for the Lutz Hall stage. 

The Presser Foundation has had a special relationship with music at The Valley 
since 1917, when the first Presser Scholarship was presented to Goodridge M. 
Greer ’18. This award, recognizing the top academic student in music, has been 
presented each year for nearly a century. It represents one of the oldest support- 
ing relationships in the College’s history, second only to the relationship with 
The United Methodist Church.™“ During the past 25 years. The Presser Foun- 
dation has sponsored four capital grants, one of which enabled the renovation 


147 


and renaming of the Presser-Gillespie Music Technology Center in 1995 and a 
major update of that facility in 2010. 

These gifts are representative of the generosity of friends and alumni of The 
Valley, who enrich the lives of students through scholarship support, provid- 
ing performance-quality instruments, band uniforms, choir robes, and other 
resources that enhance the educational mission of the department. They are 
examples of the power of endowments, gifts, and grants. They represent the 
generosity and foresight of those who feel inspired in meaningful ways to en- 
hance in perpetuity, “This ringing song we raise.” 


Full well we know...'''''’''' 

I n the address to the College trustees in October 1990, as the new chair of 
the Music Department, I shared these words from the Dean Cline report: 

...in my experience, the best music teachers are those who are 
the best, most enthusiastic musicians who feel absolutely com- 
pelled to share the joy and insights that contribute so greatly 
to a stronger character, a keener perception, a more incisive 
intellect. They are the people who also have a broad enough 
understanding of world history and other factors in intellec- 
tual development that they know how to relate to children of 
all backgrounds and to adults who have not chosen to pursue 
music study in a concentrated way or who have not had the 
benefit of access to music training. Things will continue to 
change; so what is needed is good musicians who are well 
tuned to general liberal arts disciplines.™* 

And this, from a book by Henry Rosovsky, Harvard dean: 

Money is a sine qua non.... By far the most dependable indica- 
tor of [college] status is the faculty’s excellence that determines 
nearly everything else: a good faculty wiU attract good stu- 
dents, grants, alumni and public support-and recognition.*** 

These observations by Cline and Rosovsky hold in them several keys to the past 
and future success of music at The Valley. In 1990, the College had 868 full- 
time students, 68 of whom were music majors. These majors, primarily in the 
Music Education Program, were served by seven full-time faculty, 10 part-time 
faculty, and one music staff person, who had the only computer resource in the 
department, an Apple He at her desk.**** Future generations of music gradu- 
ates are likely to recall with affection and perhaps trepidation teachers such as 
148 


George D. Curfman ’53, Philip G. Morgan, Robert H. Hearson, and Dennis W. 
Sweigart ’63, among numerous others.™ 

By 2011, the department had returned to 1975 strength, with 220 music majors 
served by 14 full-time faculty, 25 part-time faculty, and one-and-a-half office 
administrators. How did such a transformation come to pass? A relentless focus 
on student achievement has been key. This focus is visible in the time-intensive 
but personal audition-for-admission process. Foremost in this process is that of 
attracting and retaining a cohort of talented and committed students, coupled 
with a reaffirmation of the intimate character of The Valley music experience. 
Balancing a comprehensive liberal arts experience with demanding professional 
music programs is affirmed as a strength within the context of both the depart- 
ment and the Gollege mission statements.™' 

A retrenchment was required during this transformation that included elimi- 
nating discipline-heavy bachelor of music degrees, followed by a focus on core 
programs: music education, music recording technology [now audio & music 
production], and the traditional liberal arts degree in music. This change was 
supported by a consistent marketing plan and focused communication with 
alumni and other friends of music. It was accomplished in a spirit of coopera- 
tion and collaboration between all of the constituent parts of the Gollege. As 
the department grew, in the context of overall GoUege growth, complementary 
programs were added: music business in 2000 and a summers-only Master 
of Music Education degree in 2001. Gontinuing generosity led to additional 
programming opportunities, including the national July 2004 Mary E. Hoffman 
Symposium on Music Education: Inheriting a Legacy, and the establishment of 
a Distinguished Artists Series in 2008. A strategic plan for the department was 
adopted in September 2008. It included the creation of Valley Musica: Friends 
of Lebanon Valley Gollege Music. 

In times of diminishing resources and increasing challenges, the value of what 
colleges such as The Valley offer is questioned and tested. To be tested and chal- 
lenged are not new in the experience of Lebanon Valley Gollege; indeed, they 
are a reality that has been faced time and again throughout the Gollege’s 150 
years and are faced daily today. As in the past, “We shall not cease from explo- 
ration.” The current challenges will be met with a ringing song of bold thinking, 
thoughtful planning, purposeful action, and wise optimism. 


149 


Chapter 1$ Endnotes 

‘William H. Fairlamb was a member of the faculty from 1947 to 1990. Pierce A. Getz ’51 was 
a member of the faculty from 1959 to 1990. 

"The Conservatory of Music existed from 1898 to 1958. Oldham was director of the Conser- 
vatory from 1898 to 1908. 

‘“Paul G. Fisher ’47, Music: A Dominant Force in the First Century of Lebanon Valley College, 
(Doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan, 1969), 11-13. 

‘"Fisher, Music: A Dominant Force in the First Century of Lebanon Valley College, 23. 

"Fisher, Music: A Dominant Force in the First Century of Lebanon Valley College, 38. 

"Fisher, Music: A Dominant Force in the First Century of Lebanon Valley College, 65-68. 

""Fisher, Music: A Dominant Force in the First Century of Lebanon Valley College, 73. 

"“Fisher, Music: A Dominant Force in the First Century of Lebanon Valley College, 177. 

"‘Fisher, Music: A Dominant Force in the First Century of Lebanon Valley College, 120-122. 

^ The Review, Vol. IX, No. 1, January 1975, 18. 

"National Association of Schools of Music [NASM] website. 

^ The Review, Vol. IX, No. 1, January 1975, inside the front cover. 

"“'The Review, Vol. IX, No. 1, January 1975, 1, 18. 

The Review, Vol. IX, No. 1, January 1975, 18. 

The Review, Vol. IX, No. 1, January 1975, 1, 11. 

The Review, Vol. IX, No. 1, January 1975, 9. 

"'"Frank E. Stachow was a member of the faculty from 1946 to 1981. 

"“‘Robert C. Lau ’65 was a member of the faculty from 1968 to 1989. Fie chaired the Music 
Department from 1979 to 1989. 

““By their fruits” is a reference to Matthew 7:20. 

"The material about David Tobias ’59 is drawn from a 1985 Falcon TV interview posted 
on YouTube, January 19, 2011; Shore News Today, February 22, 2011; Press of Atlantic City, 
March 4, 2011; Press of Atlantic City, April, 10, 2011; a personal interview of David A. 
Tobias, June 8, 2011. 

"“Ruth Engle Bender ’15 was a member of the faculty from 1918-1922 and from 1924 to 
1970. She was department chair from 1924 to 1930. James T. Thurmond was a member of 
the faculty from 1954 to 1979. Robert W. Smith ’39 was a member of the faculty from 1951 
to 1983. Thomas Lanese was a member of the faculty from 1954 to 1978. 


150 


““Robert W. Smith ’39 was department chair from 1956 to 1979 and served the First United 
Methodist Church of Hershey from 1948 to 1999. 

““The widow’s mite is a reference to Mark 12:42. It is a coin that was given by a nameless 
widow as a temple donation. 

“''Lebanon Valley College News Release, January 11, 1995. The Patriot-News, Lebanon edi- 
tion, January 30, 1995. 

““Adelaide Sanders ’43 and Newton M. Burgner ’32, Music Department files. 

“"Paul G. Fisher ’47, Edward P. Rutledge: Pre-eminent Professor of Music 1931-1954, 18-20. 

““The Presser Foundation Grant Proposal, November 23, 2009. 

“““Full well we know the debt we owe to dear old LVC,” is from verse 1 of the Alma Mater. 

““Eileen T. Cline, Consultation Report, 4. 

“Flenry Rosovsky, The University: An Owner’s Manual (New York: W.W. Norton, 1990), 
228-229. 

““Music Department files, 1990-1991 Fligher Education Arts Data Service Report. 

““George D. Curfman ’53 was a member of the faculty from 1961 to 1996. Philip G. Morgan 
was a member of the faculty from 1969 to 2003. Robert FI. Flearson was a member of the 
faculty from 1986 to 2007. Dennis W. Sweigart ’63 was a member of the faculty from 1972 
to 2011. 

’^^Music Student Handbook, Fall 2010, inside front cover. 


151 




Chapter i6 

From Belles and Lassies to the 
NCAA Final Four 

Thomas M. Hanrahan 


T he most recent period of women’s athletics at Lebanon Valley College 
reveals tremendous success — as measured by participation in National 
CoUegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) post-season competition — 
throughout the 12 women’s intercollegiate sports. The field hockey program 
led the way with six NCAA post-season appearances, including a pair of final 
four finishes, followed by softball and basketball with ftve NCAA post-season 
tournaments apiece, including an elite eight appearance by basketball. 

Volleyball competed in four consecutive NCAA tournaments, while soccer 
and tennis qualifted and competed in NCAA tournaments for the first time in 
their respective program history during this period. Combined with individual 
NCAA participation by female student-athletes of the indoor track, outdoor 
track, and cross country teams, including the College’s first-ever individual 
NCAA champion, Cynthia Adams ’14, D’16 [800-meters], it is definitively the 
“Golden Age” of women’s athletics at LVC.‘ 

The success was a long time coming, however. “The principle of co-education 
of the sexes was adopted from the first by the founders of the college. ...”“ when 
it came to academics, but it did not apply to women’s athletics. This paral- 
leled events and policies nationally. There were “Play Days,” in which teams 
of women were picked randomly from the schools participating, and “Sports 
Days,” in which each institution played as a team in a roundtable tournament. 
But there was little else. LVC’s female athletes faced difficulties being accepted 
as equals by their classmates, the media, and the public at large. 

Until 1975, when women’s lacrosse became the College’s third overall sport for 
women” and first-ever spring sport for females, the women’s basketball and 
field hockey squads were primarily the College’s sole feminine representatives 
in intercollegiate athletics." These two teams of pioneers spent decades being 
referred to with names ranging from “Dutchgirls,” “Blue and White Lassies,” 
“Blue and White Belles,” “Valley Gals,” and “Girl Dribblers,” to “Hockeyites,” 
“Hockeyists,” and “Hockettes.” 


153 



1905 Women’s Basketball Team 


You would expect an institution that from day one saw less distinction between 
the genders than was the traditional national norm to have varsity level athlet- 
ics for women/ During the 1903-1904 academic year, basketball became the 
Colleges first women’s varsity sport, though not initially intercollegiate — well 
before many of its competitors even considered the idea. During the same 
year, basketball became the third men’s sport." After describing the genesis of 
sporting activities such as baseball, the College’s oldest sport, and croquet and 
tennis, Edna Carmean wrote, “Basketball had a slower start.... However, after 
Engle Hall, with its fine auditorium, was built in 1899, the olde chapel in the 
Main Building was converted to a basketball ‘cage.’ The rostrum and seats were 
ripped out and both men’s and women’s teams were organized.”’'" 

That inaugural women’s team likely played under rules established by Senda 
Berenson of Smith College — the preeminent leader of women’s physical 
education of the era — which called for a sectioned “three-court game with 
no dribbles, snatching the ball, or touching the opponent.”™ The team went a 
respectable 4- 1 with wins over the Steelton High School Alumnae and Steelton 
High School itself “ This lack of intercollegiate competition (two of the five 
contests were actually against the literary and music students), the 1904 fire, the 
fact that fewer women were enrolled at this time, and the College’s severe finan- 
cial difficulties’' potentially explain why the sport disappeared for more than a 
decade after that first season. 


154 



Some women may have been discouraged from participating in athletics due to 
a not uncommon sentiment among their male classmates, one of whom pub- 
lished a poem with the following lines: 

“...That the girls of the school, 

Began to play some Basket -ball. 

Just according to the rule... 

Why, to be sure they aU would wear 
The abbreviated (?) skirt; 

Just something like the bicyclist. 

The girl you call a flirt... 

I am sure I would much rather 
My daughter to espy. 

If she were baking bread and cake. 

Or rolling out a pie... 

Oh, what is this world coming to, 

I wonder at this rate; 

Where shall an honest man now look 
To find his son a mate?”“ 


Despite such attitudes, some female students remained athletically active.™ 
Womens basketball, in an external sense, disbanded after its initial season and 
remained dormant at LVC until the 1914-1915 academic year.™ In the interim, 
there were several unsuccessful attempts by the students to restart the sport, go- 
ing so far as clearing an old tennis court of weeds and finding a coach. None- 
theless, womens basketball did not officially return until after the construction 
of the Alumni Gymnasium in 1914, the College’s first gymnasium designed 
with basketball in mind. 

The new gymnasium, built with $5,000 in donations from alumni,™ occupied 
the ground floor of the Administration Building and included plans for a never 
completed swimming pool. There were separate locker rooms for men and 
women, an apparatus room, a small oval track above the court, and shower 
baths.™ Women’s basketball returned, posting a 3-3 record with a win over 
the Hassett Club and a pair of wins over Moravian Church.™’ Intercollegiate 
competition was still hard to come by, a problem that would persist for many 
years, causing the women’s basketball team to play various area high schools, 
churches, regional chapters of the YWCA, women’s clubs, company teams, and 
hospital nurses during the following decades. 

It was not until Feb. 25, 1916, that the LVC women’s basketball team faced its 
first intercollegiate competitor — Susquehanna University — and the Crusaders 
were the only intercollegiate team they faced in 12 competitions that season. ™“ 


155 


LVC s team competed intermittently over the next decade or so™ until a new 
interest in women’s sports, physical fitness, and the arrival of field hockey on 
campus occurred. Other women’s sports such as archery and tennis also began 
to increase in popularity toward the end of the 1920s. 

By the time of the Great Depression, women’s athletics at LVC had clearly 
begun to be perceived by both genders as beneficial to the College’s reputa- 
tion and prestige. Numerous yearbook biographies described female athletes 
in glowing and positive terms. More area colleges added women’s basketball, 
enabling LVC to fiU a schedule with more college than non-college opponents 
for the first time. Moreover, women’s athletics was assigned its own budget line 
after previously being at the mercy of the overall athletic budget.™ 

It was during this period that E. Winifred Chapman came to LVC. Though here 
for only about one year, coming to LVC from Swarthmore College, Chapman 
was the College’s first director of physical education for women. She introduced 
field hockey to the students, installed an intramural program, and oversaw the 
school’s first required exercise curriculum.”^ Like her predecessors, she and her 
fellow coaches had difficulty scheduling intercollegiate contests for women. A 
yearbook editor showed appreciation for these difficulties, particularly for the 
sport of tennis, writing, “The greatest difficulty, no doubt, will be to schedule 
games, as colleges in this section of the country seem loath to innovate girls’ 
tennis.”™ 

These difficulties were happening nationwide. Also occurring among female 
physical educators was “the belief that women should not involve themselves in 
high-level athletics because doing so could easily lead to corruption as evi- 
denced by the scandals which seemed to permeate men’s competitive sports.””'" 
The era of Play Days, Sports Days, intra-murals, and Honor Teams or Honor 
Groups — rather than varsity teams — as the preferred “non-competitive” form 
of women’s athletics was beginning.™" An attitude of providing athletic and 
physical activity for all women, not just the star athletes, would soon take hold 
at LVC as well as around the country. 

In line with this philosophy, LVC’s chapter of the YWCA created a Hiking 
Club that had 13 members and awarded “either a snappy numeral or pin” when 
a member completed 30 miles of hiking.”™'' “Hockey” also appeared in the 
yearbook for the first time with “a horde of young ladies wielding hockey clubs 
and frantically chasing their straying puks’ almost every afternoon.””" Women’s 
basketball was listed as “Co-Ed basketball” in the yearbook.”"' 

Though entirely new to campus, held hockey was an immediate hit, with 
regularly scheduled interclass games occurring and plans to held an intercol- 
legiate team.”"" In 1933, due to the lack of an adequate home facility, the first 


156 


field hockey team competed in two away games, including a 1-0 loss to Juniata. 
Likely due to the aforementioned philosophy of female physical educators dur- 
ing this period, the womens basketball and field hockey teams did not compete 
in many intercollegiate contests annually, and single-digit schedules were the 
norm until the 1970s, with a few exceptions. They were, however, recognized 
annually at a separate banquet for women where players received athletic letter 
awards and were included in the yearbook, equal to the men, for the senior Best 
Athlete Award.™“ 


It was during the 1930s that former female athletes began to return to the 
College to assume leadership roles, and the College’s first athletic association 
for women was organized.™ Louise G. Pencil, who attended LVC and played 
basketball for two years before transferring to Temple University for a degree in 
physical education, became the College’s second director of physical education 
for women and coached women’s basketball and archery. Louisa Williams Yard- 
ley ’18 became the first female alumni trustee in 1932-1933. Yardley, a former 
player on the women’s basketball team, would remain on the board for most of 
several decades.™ 

Though the College first established a men’s student organization for athletics 
in 1923, the “L” Club,™* it wasn’t until the late 1930s that the women formed 
a chapter of the Women’s Athletic Association (WAA), which operated under 
their national slogan, “A sport for every girl, and every girl in a sport.” Whereas 
the men’s association focused primarily on intercollegiate athletics and campus 



Archery Team, circa 1932 


157 



social events, the WAA helped organize and oversee, primarily with student 
leadership, all physical activities for women on campus, including Play/Sport 
Days, intercollegiate athletics, intramural athletics, sports clubs, physical educa- 
tion, and exercise activities.™ 

Things remained relatively unchanged until the advent of World War II allowed 
the women on campus to assume far greater ownership of and prominence in 
many of the College’s clubs and organizations. Early membership in the WAA 
required 200 points that were gained by participation in various sports. By the 
1940s, the point total required to earn an athletic letter award was raised to 650 
and later to 1,000 points. Moreover, the awarding of points became far more se- 
lective. Despite these more stringent standards, about two-thirds of the women 
on campus were members of the WAA and eligible to earn the Gold “L.”™‘ 

Field hockey retained its eminence as the most popular female sport, with more 
than 50 players competing many years and with two teams being formed in 
some.™'' Women’s intercollegiate competitions, though on a limited scale due 
to gas rationing and other war restrictions, were held for archery, baseball, bas- 
ketball, field hockey, table tennis, and tennis, with honor teams being selected 
for each.™ 

After the war ended, another former athlete returned to coach at LVC,™‘ and 
the school fielded its first-ever true female athletic star. Ernestine M.J. Jagnesak 
’38, a former basketball, tennis, and field hockey player at LVC, now married 



Field Flockey Team, circa 1930 


158 




Women’s Athletic Association, circa 1940 


and going by the name Jackie Smith, returned to coach field hockey in the 1946 
season. She would soon also become the coach of women’s basketball and the 
College’s first director of athletics for women. Smith mentored the College’s first 
female star athlete, Jeanne Hutchinson Shonosky-Cass ’52, who became the 
first woman inducted into LVC’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982 as a member of 
the seventh class of inductees. 

Under Smith’s tutelage, Hutchinson, who also starred in basketball, led her field 
hockey teams to a combined record of 22-5 during her career. Her play drew 
national attention to LVC.™"‘ In 1950, Hutchinson was selected as a starter for 
the Central Pennsylvania Hockey Team that played in a tournament in Har- 
risburg. Her performance in that game earned her selection to the Mid-Eastern 
team for the national tournament in Rochester, N.Y. It was the first known 
post-season participation by an LVC female athlete. Her teammate, Mary 
Roper, was selected as a substitute. Later that same month, Hutchinson 
and Roper, as well as two teammates, were chosen for the All-College team. 
Hutchinson was again selected for the All-Star team in 1951, and this time was 
named directly as a starter in the National Tournament, held in Boston, Mass. 

This era of field hockey dominance was short-lived, however, as the team would 
have more losing seasons than winning ones during the next three decades. 
Basketball was to suffer a similar fate. This may have been because there was 
no organized conference structure for women’s athletics and female athletic 

leaders themselves placed a greater premium on intramural competition over 

159 



intercollegiate athletics.™” It may also have been because there was no national 
or regional post-season competition until the early 1970s — when the Associa- 
tion for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) started offering post- 
season tournaments — or because the existing system at LVC was structured in 
such a way that men’s sports were considered more important than women’s.^ 
While each of the two main women’s sports at LVC would produce individual 
star athletes, the fact that the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) — which the 
men had officially joined in the 1950s — had no comparable women’s leagues or 
championships, undoubtedly held these programs back. 

It was not until the 1970s and 1980s, due to the implementation of Title IX of 
the Education Amendment in 1972 and the many resultant lawsuits,’^' that the 
MAC and its individual members began paying more attention to the women’s 
athletic programs of its member institutions. Title IX would eventually lead to 
numerous improvements for female athletes, including increases in financial 
assistance, the number of sports offered, the number of female coaches, the 
number of female athletic directors and assistant athletic directors, game and 
practice uniform availability, meal money, travel assistance, access to trainers, 
and more. However, as was the case nationwide, it was a long and hard fought 
battle to achieve these gains in the MAC. 

Just prior to the passage of Title IX, there were some male athletic directors in 
the MAC who were more supportive of women’s athletics and their role in the 
MAC than their peers. In 1971, David G. Busey, athletic director at Lycoming 



Women’s Lacrosse Team, circa 1975 


160 




Softball Team, circa 1984 


College, wrote the membership requesting a constitutional change that would 
allow female athletes to compete on men’s teams in MAC events.’^*' His proposal 
was defeated 32-1, but it did cause two conference athletic directors to pro- 
pose and second that “the MAC encouraged schools to form separate women’s 
athletic teams.”^“‘ 


Nonetheless, two years later, there was still debate over whether women should 
be allowed to compete on the same teams as men. Likely now feeling the pres- 
sure of Title IX, it was proposed in March 1973 that a committee be formed “to 
study the possibility of setting up separate competition for women within the 
M.A.C.”^'' This too was defeated just two months later. Instead, in a move that 
did little to assist women’s athletics, it was proposed and passed that the current 
eligibility rules be changed to delete the section that excluded women from 
MAC competition.* 

Progress remained slow within the MAC, and by 1974 it was noted in a com- 
mittee report that “the level of intercollegiate programming for women is still 
very limited; in season league play in either team or individual sports would be 
virtually impossible to implement on a league basis, however, there appears to 
be sufficient interest to warrant a MAC tournament for women in swimming, 
tennis, and basketball to determine a conference champion.”* This lack of true 
commitment led some of the member institutions, including Lebanon Valley 
College, to begin exploring the possibility of forming a separate, independent 
women’s conference.* 


161 





2013 Volleyball Team 


Possibly in reaction to this interest in separating from the MAC, the athletic 
directors approved the Women’s Intercollegiate Program and the establishment 
of MAC Womens Championships just a few months later. MAC tournaments, 
played under AIAW rules, were planned in womens swimming, tennis, and 
basketball — with only swimming actually being held that year.^™‘ One male 
athletic director, unhappy with the slow pace of progress, presented three mo- 
tions: to expand the number of championships to five and include field hockey 
and volleyball in 1975-1976; that each of the five championships be managed 
by separate committees with the “intent being to involve as many women as 
possible in the administration of these;” and that the MAC Executive Commit- 
tee study the formation of a committee of women’s athletic directors that would 
meet regularly to promote the development of women’s athletics.’^^ 

At LVC, Betty Carman, a long-time coach and director of women’s athletics, re- 
tired at the end of 1973. She was the last person to hold the position of director 
of women’s athletics.' The All-Sports Banquet truly became so when the women 
were included for the first time. Dixie Drybread-Erdman ’75 received the 
Kappa Lambda Nu Award and received the Co-Most Valuable Player Awards 
for Girls’ Basketball and Field Hockey" Women’s basketball joined the Pen 
Mar League since the MAC did not have a league or tournament for women. 
Women’s lacrosse, playing in the Central Penn League, was added as the third 
overall sport for women, enabling a female athlete the opportunity to compete 
in a sport during ah three seasons for the first time. 


162 



After much debate and disagreement over who should have control over wom- 
en’s athletics, which national and regional associations to belong to, and which 
association rules to follow, the women eventually became full partners within 
the MAC.'“ By the 1980s, there were six MAC championships for women and 
today there are 13, one more than the men. 

The 1980s heralded a new era for women’s athletics at LVC. Lou Sorrentino 
’54, who had coached football, baseball, and basketball since returning to his 
alma mater in 1971, was promoted in 1981 to director of athletics. During his 
tenure, which lasted until 2000, Sorrentino hired several coaches who would 
remain more than a decade and build their programs. He added to the number 
of women’s sports, and most LVC women’s teams became competitive forces in 
the MAC; all of which helped build the foundation for the successes of the past 
decade. 


retirement. Sorrentino also oversaw 
the addition of seven new women’s 
teams: cross country (1983), softball 
(1984), outdoor track and field (1986), 
volleyball (1987), swimming (1989), 
tennis (1994), and soccer (1996). Beard 
succeeded Tierney as athletic director 
in 2007 and later reinstated lacrosse as 
an NCAA sport (2010) and added ice 
hockey (2016). 

This extraordinary period of growth 
for women’s athletics at LVC even 
surpassed national averages. To date, 
there are 51 women in the LVC Ath- 
letic Hall of Fame; women’s athletics 
teams regularly win season titles and 
MAC tournament titles, are among 
the country’s leaders in student- athlete 
academic success, and compete in 
the N CAA post-season— unarguably crystal Gibson ’05, 

pointing to the fact that it is indeed the 201 5 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee 

“Golden Age” of women’s athletics at 
Lebanon Valley College. 



During his 20 years as director of athletics, Sorrentino hired, among others, 
now legendary coaches and athletic administrators Rick Beard ’90, M’92, Mary 
Gardner, Stacey Hollinger, Brad McAlester, Jim Monos, Cliff Myers, Wayne 
Perry ’78, and Kathleen Tierney, who would become the College’s first female 
director of athletics after Sorrentino’s 


163 



Chapter i6 Endnotes 

‘Information on NCAA participation is courtesy of the LVC Office of Athletic 
Communications, former Director Tim Flynn ’05, and GoDutchmen.com. Harry Speece, 
former assistant in the LVC Department of Athletics, provided extensive statistical and 
newspaper records for each of the womens athletic teams. 

''Fifteenth Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Lebanon Valley College for the Col- 
legiate Year 1880-1881 (Lane S. Hart, Printer and Binder, 1880), 35. 

■“Lonna Snavely, “Newest Sport at LVC — Womens Lacrosse,” Lebanon Daily News, April 15, 
1975,23. 

‘‘'There are occasional references to women’s archery and tennis competing against other col- 
leges in the first half of the 20th century in the College archives, but no specific institutions 
or results were found. 

"LVC was ahead of many institutions of the day in graduating a female in its first class, hav- 
ing females on its inaugural Alumni Association, and having females, albeit ex-officio, on 
early Boards of Trustees or “incorporations.” Marts & Lundy, Inc., Survey of Lebanon Valley 
College, December 1969; Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 64-65; Ruth Evans Gerberich, 

A History of The Alumni Association of Lebanon Valley College (Published by The Alumni 
Association, 1966), 1; “Commencement Exercises at Lebanon Valley College,” The Lebanon 
Courier, June 17, 1874; and Lebanon Valley College Catalogue, 1880-1881, 2. 

"'Wallace reports that “College athletics came very much alive under Dr. Roop [President 
Hervin U. Roop]. Basketball appeared in the 1903-1904 season.” Wallace, Lebanon Valley 
College, 118-1 19. Also, the addition of men’s and women’s basketball was noted in The 
Bizarre, 1905, 101. 

""Edna Carmean, “Playground Through the Years,” The Valley, Fall 1988, 6. Carmean further 
noted that the great fire of Christmas Eve 1904 forced the sport off campus, because there 
was no room for a basketball cage in the rebuilt structure. 

"” J.S. Hult, “The Story of Women’s Athletics: Manipulating a Dream 1890-1895,” Women 
and Sport: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Human Kinetics, Champaign, lU., 1984), 86. 

“ The Bizarre, 1905, 108. At the inception of women’s basketball, there were apparently three 
tennis clubs on campus, including the all-women’s Wynneyette Club {The Bizarre, 1905, 
110). There was another aU-female club, the Racquet Tennis Club, for at least one year 
previously {The Bizarre, 1902, 128). 

"According to a history of the College, that is without a date and the name of the author, in 
the Office of Marketing and Communications, “Lebanon Valley College teetered on the 
brink of bankruptcy and faced its darkest days, which were only gradually lightened by 
Abram P. Funkhouser’s willingness to come to the school’s rescue and ultimately by the 
keen business sense and personal generosity of Lawrence W. Keister. . .” 

"■E.M. Balsbaugh, “Comment of Foot Ball Pro and Con,” The Bizarre, 1901, 145-147. It was 
common for several pages of each yearbook at this time to be dedicated to satire and that 
may have been the author’s intent. 

Several years would pass with no mention of women’s athletics in the yearbooks or cata- 
logs. However, the all-female Racket Club, with 22 members, was included in the 1911 
yearbook. The Bizarre, 1911, Vol. XII, 126. 

164 


™‘ There is a picture of a group of women holding a basketball with “1905” clearly identi- 
fied. Additionally, there were four members listed in the 1912 The Bizarre under “Tennis 
Varsity,” two of whom are female, and Edna R. Kilmer T2 was listed as manager of tennis, 
which earned her a seat as a member of the Executive Board of the Athletic Council, 91. 

"''According to a typed history of the College in the Office of Marking and Communications, 
“In 1914, there was a step forward. A gymnasium was built in the south end of the Admin- 
istration Building. Its cost of $5,000 had been donated by Lebanon Valley alumni...” 

"Lebanon Valley College Catalogue, 1913-1914, 10-11; and Wallace, Lebanon Valley College, 
162. 

™The archives contain an original printed sheet titled “Athletic Record for April 1, 1914, to 
April 1, 1915. It lists the women as playing six games against three competitors: Elarrisburg 
Central High, the Hassett Club of Harrisburg, and Moravian Girls. Other sources have 
them playing five games and against Moravian Church rather than Moravian Girls. 

"^The Quittapahilla, 1917, 239. 

Several complete seasons were played, and there were several years where no games were 
apparently played. However, it appears that women were able to earn “a letter” for basket- 
ball during this period. “Basketball is the only sport in which the Co-eds can win a letter 
and as a rule very many candidates show up for the team.” The Quittapahilla, 1919, 192. No 
other mention of letters for women is noted until many years later. 

““Athletics for Women” was first added as a line item in the 1927-1928 fiscal year. “Cash 
Receipts and Expenditures, Lebanon Valley College Account Erom September 1, 1928, to 
June 4, 1929,” Finance Committee Reports and Supplements, 1929, 21. 

“Lebanon Valley College Bulletin, Vol. XVII (New Series), March 1929, No. 12; and Sixty- 
Third Annual Catalogue, 1929-1930, 55-56. 

““Glimpses of Our Athletic Past,” The Quittapahilla, 1930, 187. 

“R.V Acosta and L.J. Carpenter, “Women in Sport,” Sport and Higher Education (Cham- 
paign, 111., Human Kinetics Publisher), 313. 

““ “Intramural basketball was arranged for all the classes including girls’ games for every 
class.” “Intra-Mural,” The Quittapahilla, 1930, 221. 

"" The Quittapahilla, 1930, 177. 

“ The Quittapahilla, 1930, 220. The 1930 edition of The Quittapahilla credits hockey as hav- 
ing been “innovated by Miss Chapman last fall, and is required of all girls on the campus 
not participating in archery or Varsity basketball.” 

""The Quittapahilla, 1930, 218. 

““ “Girl’s Hockey has developed into quite a popular sport with the girls, and, although 
they have not scheduled any games.. ..We have hopes that in the near future the girls will 
have developed a hockey team that will be able to match sticks against teams from other 
schools.” The Quittapahilla, 1931, 197-198. 

““As an example of this, Iva Claire Weirick and Charles Bartolet were named Best Athletes 
in 1937. The Quittapahilla, 1937, 113. 


165 


™ The Quittapahilla, 1937, 162. The Womens Athletic Association (WAA) was a national 
association that promoted female student leadership in athletic endeavors. The LVC chapter 
saw as its purpose “to take active charge of the women’s athletic program at Lebanon Valley 
College, including the managing of intercollegiate competition as well as intramural activity 
throughout the year. . .” The WAA would remain an important organization at LVC through 
the 1960s. 

"“Lebanon Valley College Bulletin, Vol. XXII (New Series), March 1932, No. 12; 66th Annual 
Catalogue, 1932-1933,4. 

™““The League of Athletes,” The Quittapahilla, 1930, 169. 

The Quittapahilla, 1938, 1 10. In just its second year at The Valley, the WAA was already 
sponsoring intramural games for the women in activities ranging from hare and hound 
chases to campus tennis championships, and scheduling intercollegiate matches, albeit 
noncompetitive contests using the terms Honor Group or Honor Team rather than varsity. 
Their rationale for this change in terminology paralleled national leanings in that it “ends 
competition between schools which usually ends in a bad feeling...” 

™“““To gain membership in the W. A. A., a girl must earn two hundred points. Points are 
earned by participating in the various sports either as a member of the honor team or by 
membership on a dormitory team. Letters are given to those girls who earn one thousand 
points.” The Quittapahilla, 1941, 107. 

Quittapahilla, 1944, 32. 

“"Lebanon Valley College Bulletin, Vol. XXXI, February 1943, No. 11; Catalogue, 1943- 
1944, 71. 

“Obituary for Ernestine Smith,” The Morning Call, February 22, 1985, 67. 

™™‘“L.V.C. Flying Dutchgirls Continue Winning Streak; Defeat Penn Hall,” Lebanon Daily 
News, October 31, 1949, 6; “L.V.C. Girls’ Hockey Team Has Excellent Record,” Lebanon 
Daily News, November 2, 1949, 10; “LVC Field Hockey Girls Score 5th Straight Win,” Leba- 
non Daily News, November 3, 1949, 39. 

“"“ITie Quittapahilla, 1952, 151. 

™““LVC Intramural Sports Program in Second Year,” Lebanon Daily News, November 20, 
1956, 22. The fact that the local newspaper covered these annual events dedicated to intra- 
mural competition highlights their importance to the College. They were held for several 
years and included men, women, and coed championships. 

^ Statement of Intercollegiate Athletics at Lebanon Valley College, 1955, 1, 78. This statement 
evolved from 44 meetings of an all-male committee during the 1954-1955 academic year. 

Acosta and Carpenter, Sport and Higher Education, 1 . In 1972, Title IX was put into law. It 
provides that “No person in the Lfnited States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from 
participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any 
education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...” 

’^“Thomas Hanrahan, From National to Regional: An Analysis of Presidential Influence on the 
Contraction of the Qriginal Middle Atlantic States Collegiate Athletic Conference, 1974-1992 
(Pennsylvania State Lfniversity, 2004), 163. 


166 


*'“Hanrahan, From National to Regional, 163-164. 

*'"'Hanrahan, From National to Regional,!? 4-17 5. 

^Hanrahan, From National to Regional, 175. 

*'"Hanrahan, From National to Regional, 200. 

*'™Hanrahan, From National to Regional, 199. 

*'™Hanrahan, From National to Regional, 200-201. The MAC did establish its first cham- 
pionship — womens swimming — that year, but it was not until 1978-1979 that the first 
championship was held for womens basketball. 

*'“Hanrahan, From National to Regional, 201. 

'Lebanon Valley College Bulletin, Vol. LIV, December 1966, No. 4; Catalogue, 1967-1968, 
190. Carman was regularly listed as director of athletics in the catalog, but only as coach or 
other titles in the various yearbooks. LVC apparently chose not to retain the title. 

'^Jhe Quittapahilla, 1974, 228. 

'“Hanrahan, From National to Regional, 203, 232-234. The men stUl wanted to oversee all 
athletics, but the women, under the leadership of Lois Bowers of Gettysburg College and 
Dr. Carol Fritz of Western Maryland College (who would become the MAC s first female 
president), fought to have a say in how their sports were handled in the newly evolving 
women’s conference. 


167 


Chapter 17 
A Conversation 
with Stephen MacDonald: 

Looking Back at 14 Tears 
as President and Dean 


Dr. Stephen MacDonald served as president of Lebanon Valley College from 
2004 until his retirement in 2012. Prior to his term as president, he directed 
the academic affairs of the College as dean of the faculty and vice president of 
academic affairs from 1998 to 2004. As the College celebrates the commemora- 
tion of its 150th founding, Dr. MacDonald reflected on the 14 years he spent in 
senior leadership positions at LVC. 

Q: You didn’t have any connections with LVC before you came here in 1998. 
What brought you here? 

MacDonald: You’re right: I didn’t know the College. However, I had heard 
intriguing reports about the good work that John Synodinos had done here 
during his presidency. The College had a reputation as a dynamic, innova- 
tive place. 1 had been at Dickinson College for 15 years at that point, and I 
was ready for a change. 

Q: What did you do at Dickinson? 

MacDonald: I was an associate dean; associate deans do everything. I 
ran the summer school, took care of visiting international scholars, led a 
number of institutional accreditation self-studies, directed the first-year 
seminar program, worked closely with faculty on interdisciplinary teaching 
seminars, and led efforts to develop foreign language teaching across the 
curriculum. All this was very interesting and stimulating. I was drawn to 
find out what was actually happening in the classroom: 1 wanted to know 
how and what students were actually learning. 

Q: And you thought LVC was a place to pose that question? 

MacDonald: Yes, I thought this College, reputed to be an institution espe- 
cially devoted to student learning in the classroom, laboratory, and studio, 
was a place where I could engage faculty in that question. And I think I 
was right. The faculty were surprised, I know, that I actually wanted to visit 


168 





their classes to watch them teach, but they welcomed those visits — at least 
most of them did — and I, in turn, invited them to visit my classes when I 
taught or team-taught courses at LVC. 

Q: What did you observe when you visited those classes? 

MacDonald: I saw superb teaching. There were exceptions, of course. But 
in most classes, I saw teachers doing extraordinary work. I saw faculty who 
were passionate about their disciplines and devoted to the success of their 
students. It was a privilege to be working with such gifted and dedicated 
people. 

Q: What were the most significant achievements in those six years you 
served as dean of the faculty? 

MacDonald: Two different things. One was in the area of the curriculum 
and the other involved the process of faculty evaluation. 

Q: Tell me about the curricular changes. 

MacDonald: There was a quickening of the College’s academic pulse in 
those six years. We saw new majors and programs: music business; art & 
art history; the theater concentration in English; the certification in special 
education. I was directly involved in the development of some of these ini- 
tiatives. I worked closely with the faculty in computer science, English, and 
business to prepare the proposal for the Digital Communications Program. 
We had to fight hard for the adoption of that program, which provoked 
strong resistance from some segments of the faculty because it was the first 
interdisciplinary major in the College’s history. Moreover, I was the author 
of the proposal for the creation of the First- Year Seminar Program in 2001, 
which was couched as an alternative way of satisfying the first semester 
freshman English requirement. I taught First- Year Seminars in 2002 and 
2003 when the program was introduced. Most importantly in terms of the 
curriculum, it fell to me to become the mid-wife of the Physical Therapy 
(PT) Program when that program nearly collapsed in 2002 because it failed 
to get initial accreditation. 

Q: Did you have previous experience with physical therapy programs? 

MacDonald: I had none. I knew nothing about PT. But when we did not 
get what is called candidacy accreditation in the spring of 2002, 1 had to 
meet with our initial class of physical therapy students — students who had 
been with us for three years and who were expecting to begin the profes- 
sional phase of their studies with PT classes that summer — and I had to teU 


170 


those students that lacking candidacy accreditation, we could not offer any 
PT courses. I had to tell those students that they would have to leave LVC 
if they wished to proceed with a career in physical therapy. It was a terrible 
moment: extraordinarily painful to those students. There were tears and 
there was anger. I think it was the worst moment in my professional life. 

Q: Did those students leave the College? 

MacDonald: Most did. We helped them transfer. It was excruciating, for 
them and for us. I vowed that would never happen again. I threw myself 
directly into the work of preparing the documentation for our next applica- 
tion for candidacy. We appointed a new chair of the Physical Therapy De- 
partment. I worked closely with him and his colleagues. I wrote and edited 
much of what we had to submit to the accrediting commission. And, in 
spring 2003, we secured our candidacy accreditation. Finally, in 2006, we 
graduated our first students with the degree of doctor of physical therapy. It 
was a great moment for the College. 

Q: And didn’t you somehow end up on the PT accrediting agency? 

MacDonald: Yes, a remarkable journey. Physical therapy programs in 
the United States are accredited by something called the Commission on 
Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education — CAPTE, for short. It was 
CAPTE that had played the role of villain in denying us candidacy in 2002. 
Well, CAPTE was so impressed by the work we did in turning around 
our sad tale of woe from 2002 into our ringing success in 2003 that they 
asked me to do some on-site visits to other schools going through similar 
processes, and then in 2007 they invited me to join CAPTE itself for a four- 
year term. Wonders never cease. 

Q: You said the other significant achievement during your time as dean was 
in the area of faculty evaluation. 

MacDonald: When I arrived in 1998, 1 was surprised — astonished, actu- 
ally — to learn that at LVC peer evaluation played no role in the faculty 
evaluation process. Faculty had no voice in assessing their colleagues’ 
teaching, scholarship, and service in the process of review for tenure and 
promotion. This is standard good practice at virtually all American institu- 
tions of higher learning. I had to fight very hard to persuade the faculty 
to accept the responsibility of peer evaluation as an essential part of their 
professional duties. It was a fight I finally won although it did not actually 
go into effect until just after I had left the dean’s office and become presi- 
dent in 2004. 


171 


Q: You must have experienced failures or disappointments during your six 
years as dean of the faculty. What were they? 

MacDonald: There were plenty of disappointments and more than one 
failure. The biggest one was my bright idea of proposing that the faculty 
reconceive and reconfigure the curriculum so that students take four 
courses per semester instead of five and that faculty teach three courses per 
semester instead of four. I thought this reconfigured curriculum would al- 
low for a deeper, more thoughtful, less fractured approach to learning and 
teaching. The faculty spent almost two years thinking about this idea and 
then they decided by a 2 to 1 margin that they preferred the old curricu- 
lum, thank you very much. Painful. 

Q: You became president when your predecessor, David PoUick, left LVC in 
2004. 

MacDonald: Initially I became president only on a temporary, acting basis. 
I told the chair of the Board of Trustees, BiU Lehr, that I was not interested 
in being a candidate for a permanent appointment. I was not interested 
because I had never set out to become a college president. 

Q: What changed your mind? 

MacDonald: Several things. A number of colleagues — senior adminis- 
trators, faculty, some members of the Board of Trustees whose counsel I 
especially valued — came to me and urged me to become a candidate for 
the presidency. Then there was the stimulating experience that my wife, 
Mary Warner, and I had at Alumni Weekend in early June 2004 when we 
presided over a very busy three-day schedule. We had a marvelous time. 
When the weekend was over, we looked at each other and said, “You know, 
we can do this job!” So I told Bill Lehr that Id like to be a candidate after 
all. He put the external search process on hold, the board ran me through 
a version of that process with a series of intensive forums and examina- 
tions by various groups on campus — faculty, administrators, students — in 
late summer and early fall. Things went well. In October 2004, the board 
unanimously selected me as the 17th president of the College. 

Q: You had never thought about becoming a president, you said. Now that 
you had become one, did you know what you wanted to accomplish? 

MacDonald: That had become clear to me in the process of my examina- 
tion by the board. I understood that I had to complete the transformation 
of a fragile institution into a strong one through enrollment growth gener- 
ated by an innovative financial aid system. The new revenues produced by 


172 


the enrollment growth, sustained by budgetary discipline, would support 
physical plant renewal and academic and non-academic program initia- 
tives. There was nothing new in this. In broad strokes, it is what David 
Pollick had been doing between 1996 and 2004 and what John Synodinos 
had done between 1988 and 1996. 

Q: So you conceived your presidency as a period of continuity? 

MacDonald: Yes, continuity. I explicitly used the word. I said we needed to 
complete tasks. The College required continuity of leadership to complete 
an unfinished major campaign and an unfinished building agenda. I was 
very different from my predecessor in temperament and presentation. We 
were dramatically different in style: David Pollick joked that while we were 
both from the coast, there was no mistaking that he was from California 
and that I was from Massachusetts. But I shared his goals for LVC. And 
now, in 2015, looking back on the presidencies of the three of us — eight 
years of John Synodinos, eight years of David Pollick, and eight years of 
Steve MacDonald — I think one detects, despite all the differences of per- 
sonality, an impressive 24-year period of continuity of purpose marked by 
enrollment growth, physical plant transformation, and curricular regenera- 
tion. A College, which in 1988 had only 790 students and was just about 
ready to fail, had by 2012 more than twice that enrollment and had become 
strong and resilient. That’s a remarkable success story. 

Q: In the short run, what was your most urgent task on becoming president 
in 2004? 

MacDonald: That was very clear: I had to bring the Great Expectation 
Campaign to a successful completion. That campaign had actually been 
going on since 1997, but it had assumed its full-blown, $50 million dollar 
goal only in 2000. When I became president in 2004, we had already raised 
something like $43 million, so we were more than 80% of the way to the 
finish line and you might suppose that this would have seemed an easy 
task to get the remaining $7 million. But the Garber Science Center — what 
we now call the Neidig-Garber Science Center — posed a problem. The 
projected cost of renovating that building had grown to more than $18 mil- 
lion. The trustees insisted that we raise $13 million in gifts designated for 
that project before we could begin renovating the building. However, by 
2004 we had raised only about $7 million for Neidig-Garber as part of that 
$43 million. 


173 


Q: So you had to raise $6 million specifically for the science center regard- 
less of whether you reached the $50 million general target for the 
campaign? 

MacDonald: Well, the trustees reduced the required minimum in gifts 
for the Neidig-Garber renovation to $10 million after a feasibility study 
showed that $13 million was not possible. Therefore, the target for the sci- 
ence center was an additional $3 million in dedicated gifts. We launched a 
focused mini-campaign for the science center while the Great Expectations 
Gampaign ground forward. We brought both campaigns to a conclusion 
at the end of June 2007. The Great Expectations Gampaign finished with 
more than $55.4 million, the largest and most successful fund-raising ef- 
fort in the Gollege’s history. Five days before the campaign ended, Ed and 
Jeanne Arnold, in response to my personal appeal, provided the final gift 
that eased the Science Genter initiative over the $10 million goal as a part 
of that campaign. 

Q: So you were then able to renovate the science center? 

MacDonald: We were effectively rebuilding it in place — repairing an 
airplane while it was flying, as someone said. It contained all our science 
labs, so we could never shut the whole building down. We cut it in half 
along its east-west axis and built a temporary wall down the middle. We 
transferred all its functions first to the northern half of the building and 
completely gutted and rebuilt the southern half Then we shuffled every- 
thing and everybody over to the new southern half and gutted and rebuilt 
the northern half And when that was finished, we removed the temporary 
wall and stitched up the now completed whole. And it actually worked! No 
one had been crushed, impaled, or electrocuted. The building is beautiful 
and functional. 

Q: Is this the principal task of college presidents? To construct buildings? 

MacDonald: It depends. What does the college need? John Synodinos back 
in 1988 inherited a Gollege with a deplorable physical plant. This Gollege 
looked awful in 1988; it was one the reasons students did not want to come 
here. John and his successors — David Pollick and I — spent the next quarter 
century and about $80 million transforming an unattractive, dysfunctional 
place into a gracious, appealing campus with state-of-the-art classrooms, 
laboratories, athletic facilities, and living and dining spaces that compared 
favorably to any of the nearby colleges and universities with which Leba- 
non Valley Gollege competes ferociously for students. We changed an ugly 
place into a beautiful place. That was arguably a good thing in itself But it 
was not done as an aesthetic exercise. Had we not built a handsome library 


174 


and attractive new dorms, and a practically new science center and a daz- 
zling new basketball arena, and had we not transformed a tired old student 
center into a light and airy showpiece of student life, and had we not rebuilt 
the old site of the gymnasium into an atrium surrounded by modern class- 
rooms we would, eventually, have ceased doing business. Students would 
have gone elsewhere: they have plenty of good choices. 

Q: So do you regard the buildings constructed during your tenure in office 
as your legacy? 

MacDonald: Certainly, it’s part of it. I am very gratified by the work we 
did with Neidig-Garber, and with Stanson Hall, with the renovation of the 
Humanities Building, and especially with the Mund College Center, which 
was finished in the spring of 2012 just as I was completing my term of 
office as president. We brought all of these projects in on schedule and we 
brought every one of them in under budget. But I think the best work I did 
as president, the work I’m most proud of, had nothing to do with buildings. 

Q: And what was that? 

MacDonald: I think my best work was as a crisis manager during the awful 
winter of 2008-2009 when the entire country was reeling from the initial 
shock of the Great Recession. As layoffs, work-hour-reductions, bankrupt- 
cies, and foreclosures began to swamp millions of middle-class families 
with modest income across the United States — precisely the people whose 
children attended LVC — we moved preemptively to signal to our families 
that they should not panic and withdraw their sons or daughters from the 
College or fail to send them back following the holiday break. We respond- 
ed quickly and creatively and communicated effectively to our constituents. 
We put additional financial aid to good tactical and strategic use. I spoke 
directly and without artifice to students and parents about their financial 
situation and to faculty and staff about the financial realities of the College. 
We did not lose our heads; we did not throw anyone overboard. We kept 
faith with all our people. Our highest paid employees took a one-year pay 
freeze for 2009-2010 and we let some positions go vacant for a time. But 
we sustained our faculty, administrators, and staff at a time when it was 
tempting to think that we might get through a difficult patch by letting a 
few housekeepers go. I’m very proud that we did not do that. 

Q: “He Did Not Panic.” Should that be your epitaph? 

MacDonald: Or “He Mended Fences.” When I came to the presidency, we 
had poor relations with Annville. Our students complained that they were 
routinely being stopped while walking in town by Annville police who 


175 


claimed to be enforcing local curfew ordinances. Some townspeople com- 
plained that the College was gobbling up township property and failing to 
pay a fair share of the cost of public services. Instances of occasional mis- 
behavior by LVC students were held up by certain neighbors as evidence 
that the College was ruining the township. 

Q: Aren’t these kinds of complaints typical of town-gown tensions? 

MacDonald: Versions of these things are commonplace in small college 
towns. There was the additional complaint that the College’s president — my 
predecessor — had not treated the township and its othcials with suitable 
deference and respect. I was determined to set this right. So my wife and I 
had the township commissioners and their spouses up to Kreiderheim for 
dinner. I began to regularly attend township commissioner meetings. I paid 
attention at those meetings. I asked modest questions. I marched in the an- 
nual Memorial Day Parade with other LVC military veterans, a move that 
was regarded favorably with the greater Lebanon community and created 
immediate friendships with some local officials who had previously been 
very hostile to the College. In short, I showed respect to my neighbors. 
People stopped demonizing the president of Lebanon Valley College. 

Q: And the College did some serious collaboration with the township as 
well. 

MacDonald: Yes, we worked closely with Annville on the second stage of 
their urban renewal initiative called the “Downtown Project” that signifi- 
cantly transformed the first two blocks of the north side of E. Main St. I 
helped dedicate the opening of the handsome town center at the intersec- 
tion of Routes 422 and 934 in the last days of my presidency in July 2012. 

Q: You’ve been retired more than four years now. Looking back at your 
years as president, are you satisfied that you were able to achieve every- 
thing you wanted to achieve? 

MacDonald: You never get everything done. We never figured out how to 
make Carnegie Library handicapped accessible. We never figured out how 
to beat Delaware Valley at football. There are invariably disappointments. 

I wish we had had a more successful reaccreditation visit from the Middle 
States Association of Colleges and Schools in spring in 2012. That was a 
disappointment. 


176 


Q: Do you miss being president? 

MacDonald: No. I had done my work and was ready to step away. I miss 
my colleagues. I miss the students; I liked them a lot; I enjoyed being 
called “Prez Mac.” Being president of Lebanon Valley College was the most 
unexpected and most gratifying thing that ever happened in my life. I am 
an enormously fortunate man to have been asked to serve as president of 
this College. And I am satisfied that for all my shortcomings and inadequa- 
cies, I did the job I was charged with doing back in 2004: 1 completed the 
transformation of LVC that John Synodinos had begun and that David Pol- 
lick had continued. We turned a failing, flailing school into a strong college 
with a beautiful campus, an exemplary physical plant, robust enrollments, a 
revivified academic program, and an able, confident faculty. It took a quar- 
ter century. But that’s no mean thing that John and David and I achieved. 
I’m proud to have been part of that. 


177 


Acknowledgments 


I am deeply grateful for all of those who had a hand in this book: 

Howard Applegate, for recommending to President MacDonald that I become 
involved in this project and for his work on the oral history of the College; 

Lewis Thayne, without whose support this history of the College would not 

Thomas Hanrahan, Daniel Massad, Mark 
Mecham, and Stephen MacDonald for their 
interpretative essays; 

Paul Fidlmer, Gary Grieve-Carlson, and John 
McEUhenney for their suggestions on reading Part 
One; 

Maureen Anderson Bentz, Kate Ruhl Gerdes, 
Becky Fullmer and Thomas Hanrahan for their 
helpful edits of the entire manuscript; 

Richard Beard, Anne Berry, William Brown, 
Richard Charles, Ross Fasick, James Felton, 
Deborah FuUam, Robert Hamilton, Bryan 
Hearsey, Barry Hill, Gregory Krikorian, George 
Marquette, Owen Moe, Howard Neidig, John Norton, Lynn Phillips, 

David Pollick, Kevin Pry, Thomas Reinhart, and Gregory Stanson for their 
willingness to answer questions and provide information; 

Emily Acri, who created the 150th Anniversary logo and design; Maureen 
Anderson Bentz, who scoured the archives for many of the wonderful 
photographs used; Jasmine Ammons Bucher, who designed the book; and 
Martin J. Parkes, who shepherded the book through a maze of publication 
details with excellence; 

Edna Carmean and Paul A.W. Wallace, whose previous writings about the 
College were an invaluable resource; and 

My wife, Lenore Williams, for being an encourager extraordinaire. 


have come to completion; 



Wesley T. Dellinger ’75, P’05, chair 
of the College’s Board of Trustees, 
2012-present 


178 


Contributors 


Thomas M. Hanrahan has always had an interest in intercollegiate athletics. 

His doctoral dissertation focused on the Middle Atlantic States Collegiate 
Athletic Conference. His initial role on the staff of Lebanon Valley College was 
as director of sports information, and he is now director of editorial standards 
and brand messaging. He also served as editor for this history. 

Stephen C. MacDonald served as president of Lebanon Valley College 
from 2004-2012. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in modern 
European history. Prior to becoming president of Lebanon Valley College, he 
had been the Colleges vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty, 
from 1998-2004. 

G. Daniel Massad, artist and writer, has taught as an adjunct professor at 
Lebanon Valley College in the Art & Art History Department, the English 
Department, and the Honor’s Program. On the advisory council of the 
Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery since its inception, Massad has also served as 
the College’s artist-in-residence since 1993. His work can be found in many 
private and public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the 
Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Mark L. Mecham, Lebanon Valley College professor emeritus of music, was the 
College’s inaugural D. Clark and Edna J. Carmean Distinguished Professor of 
Music. He chaired the Music Department from 1990 to 2014, while also serving 
as conductor of the College’s Concert and Chamber choirs. Dr. Mecham 
conducted choirs, served as an adjudicator, and gave clinics in 19 states, the 
District of Columbia, and in various parts of the world. 

J. Dennis Williams has been a pastor, director of United Methodist Studies at 
a theological school, and a United Methodist District Superintendent. He has 
been a trustee of Lebanon Valley College since 1976 and is presently a trustee 
emeritus. 


179 


Afterword 

Wesley T. Dellinger ’75, P’05 
Chair of the College's Board of Trustees 

It was not long after this College was founded that my family began its deep 
connection to Lebanon Valley College. In 1886, my great-grandfather, James T. 
Spangler, enrolled. He joined the faculty in the fall of 1890, months after gradu- 
ation. He would later become the Colleges second dean of the faculty. 

These connections continued as my great uncle, John Curvin Strayer, Class of 
1906, lost personal possessions in the 1904 Christmas Eve fire that destroyed 
the Administration Building. It housed students on its third floor at the time. 
Since then, more than 15 members of my family can proudly claim to be gradu- 
ates of Lebanon Valley College, including my father, wife, daughter, two broth- 
ers, a niece, four brothers- and sisters-in-law, and several uncles and cousins. 

I am exceedingly proud of my family’s history at Lebanon Valley College. How- 
ever, our connections are in no way unique at The Valley. There are many who 
share a family legacy that connects them to our College. These legacies con- 
tinue as the sons and daughters — and nieces and nephews — of Valley alumni 
continue to enroll in large numbers at this great institution. 

One of these legacies, Marie Gorman ’17, in fact recently participated in a 
class that conducted research on the College’s history in anticipation of this 
celebratory anniversary year. The daughter of David ’80 and Dr. Kim Foster 
Gorman ’82, Marie researched the history of six LVC graduates who served in 
the Vietnam War. Several of her classmates presented their research during the 
College’s 150th Anniversary Celebration in Lutz Hall of the Bertha Brossman 
Blair Music Center on Feb. 23, 2016. 

These classmates — Michael Mango-Puglisi ’17, Rebecca Sausser ’16, and 
Jeanette Tropp ’17 — discussed the national and international impact of three 
LVC graduates. Michael spoke about Charlie Gelbert, Class of 1928, who won 
a Major League Baseball World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals. Rebecca 
shared her research on Lottie Spessard, Class of 1913, who served as a mis- 
sionary around the world, including in the Philippines during World War 11. 
Jeanette highlighted how Paul Keene, Class of 1932, revolutionized the organic 
food movement after teaching math in India, where he learned about organic 
farming. 


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Marie, Michael, Rebecca, and Jeanette represent a mere sample of the great 
work accomplished by our students and faculty today. From an increasing 
number of students studying abroad, and conversely a greater numbers of stu- 
dents from abroad studying here, Lebanon Valley College is increasingly global. 
Yet, despite recently enrolling some of our most diverse classes in history, there 
is much work to be done to become a place of true Inclusive Excellence and 
accomplish a primary goal of our new strategic plan. Envision 2020 — to prepare 
World-Ready Graduates. 

Fortunately, based on the Colleges first 150 years and its current leadership, 

I have no doubt that we will succeed. From its founding, LVC has been at the 
forefront of many progressive issues, including providing rigorous education, 
leadership roles, and faculty positions to both genders; and having a system of 
shared governance between faculty, administration, and board leadership. The 
College enrolled students from underrepresented populations, including Native 
Americans and students from Japan and Sierra Leone, and offered intercol- 
legiate athletics for men and women decades before many of our nations “elite” 
colleges and universities. 

In 2016, LVC is 1,600 students strong. They are part of a dynamic and engaged 
learning community. Our 16,000-1- graduates are active members of their local, 
national, and international communities where they make a difference globally. 

This book by the Rev. Dr. J. Dennis Williams H’90 celebrates our past, but also 
lays a foundation for our future as we look forward to what is yet to be accom- 
plished. Our new strategic plan and campus master plan. One Campus, will 
guide the College as it embarks on the start of its next 150 years. It has been an 
incredible institution for the Dellinger family and thousands of other gradu- 
ates — I know you will join me in celebrating as we embark on the next stage of 
the College’s journey! 


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